The site was used for chemical production from before 1760 to the 1850's when manufacturing changed to washing soda. This was a very waste intensive process creating 2 tons of waste for every 1 ton of product. Around a 250,000 cu metres of waste was dumped on the site up to 10 metres in depth. The site was closed in 1895 and in the mid 1950's there was a wild flower exhibition at Bolton School where fragrant orchids Gymnadenia conopsea became the hit of the exhibition bringing botanists like Roy Lancaster and Reverend Charles Shaw to the site.
During our visit we carried out a survey of Fragrant Orchids and Marsh Heleborines Epipactis palustris which were growing in profusion.