Rother valley, Derbyshire The malign dragon’s breath ceased, the air cleared, then a corner of the vast works became a nature reserve

As a boy, rushing south from Chesterfield on the train, I remember how the farmland was interrupted by the Avenue coking works breathing fire and acrid smoke like a malign dragon. Eight hundred people worked there, producing fuel for steel works, along with sulphuric acid and tar, in one of the most contaminated industrial sites in Europe.

Related: How industrial sites can play a key role in wildlife conservation

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Source: Guardian Environment