Friends of The Crags embarked on a Good Friday good deed – with an Easter litter pick to gather a dozen bags of rubbish, from the area around the Bell Pits.

The team set out at the ancient woodlands, and were armed with information leaflets to provide a background to the heritage of the area being cleaned up.

The Bell Pits were the ancient forerunners of coal mines, and as early as 1487, there are records of small bell pits being worked in the fields in and around Denaby Woods.

Bell pits were the earliest form of mines and were used to extract not only coal, but also iron ore and many other minerals.

Some bell pits went to a depth of 60ft and their crude construction made them dangerous.

The name ‘bell pit’ comes from the round bottle shape of the vertical shaft and the mining out from the seam of coal below.

With the sinking of the first deep mine in 1800, such small ventures receded into history.