First of all F is for Fishburn, which sits to the northern end of the Discover Brightwater area, on the edge of the magnesium limestone plateau near to the source of the River Skerne. There are a couple of theories as to how Fishburn got its name the most obvious would seem to come from the Saxon of fisc for fish and bourne for brook or stream. However, it’s probable to have come from the name of the lord of the manor after the Norman conquest Fissebourne. For most of the 20th century, Fishburn was home to a colliery, which was at its peak in the 1950s. Fishburn is home to an airfield which has a brilliant café and hosts several open days and events each year, it’s well worth a visit when social distancing measures allow.
Fishburn Wheel – The original winding wheel from Fishburn Colliery is proudly on show on the outskirts of the County Durham village as a lasting tribute to its mining heritage. There’s also an area in front of the wheel for dedicated bricks, which have been purchased by relatives, friends and former employees.
Fishburn Woods -With the help of Groundwork North East and Cumbria, each week we have been working in Fishburn Woods managing the woodlands to improve access. We have been widening paths, clearing glades of fallen trees, low branches, and generally opening up the space to make it more inviting. If you would like and out more or help out click here
F also has to be for farming, large parts of the Discover Brightwater area are rural and farming is still one of our main industries. In the past the area was at the forefront of farming innovation particularly when it came to cattle breading; the Durham Shorthorn comes from the area.
The most famous result of this innovation has to be the Durham Ox, there are still pubs named after him today and there’s even a town in Australia called Durham Ox. It’s such a fascinating story we teamed up with local children’s author and illustrator Liz Million and children from Aycliffe Village and Firthmoor Primary schools to produce our very own book telling the story, we might have used our imaginations a bit as well. If you would like more information about the book look here.