Welcome > Green Mines > Origin and aims of Green Mines II / Atlanterra

A Mining Past

Mining activity and its related industrial activities have contributed towards the social, cultural and economic development of all human societies in Europe since the dawn of prehistory. This direct and intrinsic relationship is self-evident, and is even reflected in the names that European societies chose to give to the early stages of development in the history of man: Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age. This relationship has remained present over time, creating a rich social and cultural heritage that brings together the European peoples.


In the Atlantic region, human and technological migrations have been strongly influenced by the search for and the development of mineral resources. These migrations continued until the beginning of the twentieth century, and were marked by a change in the migratory flow at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in England around 1750.  Experienced miners and technological innovations produced as a result of this industrial revolution migrated from Great Britain to Spain and Portugal.


These human exchanges due to mining in the Atlantic area over the millenniums have undoubtedly created one of the richest and most fundamental cultural ties between populations. ATLANTERRA wishes to create a lasting relationship between the current and future partners to launch actions for promoting their history and heritage. This development can then be used as the foundations for sustainable regeneration (social, cultural and economical) of these regions and their communities.

Activities and Funding

The current partners of "Green Mines" have developed and put into place various measures of protection, management strategies and development policies specific to each individual case.

Through "ATLANTERRA", expertise and knowledge gained so far can be transferred, exchanged, combined and enhanced through new activities and specially developed pilot actions.

The project will be centred on the activities and actions that will:


- Allow for the development of new methodologies for the management of European regions with mining heritage.  These will include conservation strategies on geological, cultural and landscape heritage and plans of action based around nature and culture.

- Improve understanding and public recognition of the role that the European mining history and related heritage played in the development of all European societies, and its role in the sustainable improvement of responsible tourism, educational activities, learning and activities for economic regeneration.

- Develop and share new tools for the interpretation of heritage and mining landscapes, create public awareness and generate educational and tourist activities.  This will provide the information necessary for the implementation of conservation policies.

- Provide directives on the conservation and reuse of mining heritage sites for the political actors and local authorities.

- To highlight and disseminate the good practices and positive results of "Green Mines" to local actors in other territories with a rich mining history and related cultural and geological heritage.


The benefits of the transnational network will be validated through the organisation of workshops and seminars.

ATLANTERRA is a three-year project and has a European funding of 2,425,723 euros.


As project leader, the Noyant la Gravoyère will also be in charge of the coordination and administrative management of the project.

The Région Pays de la Loire is committed to assisting the project through a grant given to the town of 67,500 euros over a period of 3 years. The town will be responsible for involving other mining sites of the Loire region in this initiative for promoting industrial heritage.

The Partnership

The partners are committed - through various actions and activities - to produce tools, methodologies and implementations which will:

- Develop and help communities look after and promote their mining history and related heritage.

- Record the living memory (audio/video).

- Facilitate learning and research, including special equipment and Internet facilities.

- Develop twinnings between communities to create long-term partnerships based on a wide range of cultural activities relating to mining history: choirs, art, sculpture, food festivals, common traditions and customs (for example, tea at 5pm in Portugal, St. Barbe).

- Organise the mapping and illustrations of the changing mining landscapes over time, including studies of mining archaeology: documentation and dissemination through publications, workshops and conferences.

- Create, adapt and equip the centres to be used for archives, genealogy services, as well as for the communities, using renewable energy.

- Create a digital version of the "Mining Journal," a British publication that contains testimonies of numerous companies related to mining and human migration between the mining regions of the Atlantic area.

- Publish, and widely distribute, the "Green Mines" manual of good practices.

- Publish and disseminate studies on ecology, mining habitats and their characteristics through publications, workshops and conferences.

- Organise the filming of mining sites: the economic aspects; engineering, social and environmental aspects; impact and responsibility.

- Creation of geological gardens, different trails illustrating geological times and climate change during the history of the earth.

- Create a common website, with thematic content such as maps of the mining heritage sites and links to historical mining sites.

- Edit guided tours presented by miners or local people in MP3/MP4 format, downloadable on the project and partners' websites.

- Develop and create "Geocaches" of mining heritage sites, to make up a "Green Mines" geocache trail that will promote inter-regional integration, as well as leisure activities in each partner region.

- Develop trails, information panels and interpretive materials.

- Prepare maps of the mining heritage sites of each partner region (a common database, legend, lists of websites, publications, and links to places of cultural and social remembrance in each sector).

- Create traditional or digital models of machinery or mining sites.

- Devise TV and video programmes of miners and their heritage.