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Tag Archives: Aerial Survey

Old Aerial Photos on display at Conkers – the heart of the National Forest

Aerial photographs are being used to promote and preserve South Derbyshire’s mining heritage. The images, donated by aerial mapping company Bluesky, illustrate the changes in environment in what was once England’s mining heartland. On display at CONKERS, the award winning attraction at the heart of the National Forest, the images form an integral part of a display of mining memorabilia and artefacts collected and maintained by the South Derbyshire Mining Preservation Group.

The two Bluesky aerial photographs depict the site of CONKERS as it was more than forty years ago and as it is now. The first, taken in 1971, shows the Rawdon Colliery and surrounding area complete with spoil heap and nearby clay workings. In comparison the second image, taken in 2011, clearly shows the CONKERS building and its contrasting surroundings of open green space and trees. The images titled ‘CONKERS; then and now’ are part of the South Derbyshire Mining Preservations Group’s collection on daily show at the Mining Display Room, CONKERS.

“We are a group of ex miners and their wives who are trying to preserve and promote the local mining heritage. Over the last twenty or so years, since the mines have closed, we have been extremely blessed with donations of books, badges, certificates, clothing and items which we are pleased to be able to display at CONKERS,” commented Keith Moore Secretary of the South Derbyshire Mining Preservation Group.

“However, as a non-profit making organisation we rely on donations of both artefacts and finances from the public and businesses and we are extremely grateful to Bluesky for the donation of these extremely informative and engaging aerial images.”

The modern aerial photograph supplied by Bluesky was taken from their off the shelf archive which covers the whole of England, Scotland and Wales. Continuously updated on a five year rolling data capture programme the high resolution digital images files are available in a range of formats suitable for use in desktop mapping, GIS and CAD software packages as well as hard copy prints.

The 1970’s image forms part of an historically important archive that includes some of the earliest commercial aerial survey images, military photography from World War II and many national archives. Offering a record of most major UK cities and towns, transport and utility infrastructure and commercial property developments, OldAerialPhotos are an invaluable resource for anyone with a personal or professional interest in local studies, genealogy, boundary disputes, environmental land use research or town planning.

Both modern and historic images from Bluesky are available to view and purchase online at and, respectively.




Aerial survey specialist Bluesky has created a highly detailed digital photomap of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in South Wales from archive survey images in conjunction with Old Aerial Photos. Using original film rolls from the early 1990s Bluesky scanned and georeferenced more than 1,000 individual images to create the map-accurate dataset of the Gower Peninsula for the Central Register of Aerial Photography for Wales, part of the Welsh Assembly Government. The images are part of an archive of more than 500,000 historically important photographs, dating back to the 1960s and covering the whole of Wales, England and large parts of Scotland, which are exclusively available from Bluesky.

The Central Register of Aerial Photography for Wales maintains information about all major aerial survey cover of Wales, as well as holding an extensive collection of aerial photographs dating back to the 1940s. The Central Register is a comprehensive source of information and advises all interested parties including divisions of the Government, other public and private sector organisations and members of the public.

“This dataset will complement our existing digital collection as we already hold cover of this area from 2000 and 2006,” said Derek Elliott, Aerial Photographs Officer. “The digital dataset is easy to use and demonstrates the potential that exists both within this and other archive collections.”

The original images are part of an historical aerial photography collection housed and managed by Bluesky. Dating from the early 1960s the collection comprises over 360,000 individual frames stored on 2,000 rolls of film covering the whole of England and Wales and a large proportion of Scotland, at scales ranging from 1: 2,500 to 1:25,000, in black and white and colour.

“This is the first time these images have been available in this form,” said James Eddy, Technical Director of Bluesky. “By using state-of-the-art technology we can produce 21st century solutions from 20th century images, creating a valuable, and irreplaceable, record of landscape change and providing a valuable tool for monitoring coastal erosion, land use change, boundary disputes, urban growth and rural decline as well as providing individuals with an historical record of their own property or neighbourhood.”