Enchanted Living – Rainton Meadows


Rainton Meadows was created by the restoration of the Rye Hill opencast coal mine in 1996 by UK Coal in Partnership with Durham Wildlife Trust and the City of Sunderland. 

Rainton Meadows is home to a local legend; Joe’s Pond.

Joe’s Pond

Joe’s pond is a flooded clay pit that was taken over from the coal board by a local man, Joe Wilson. Durham Wildlife Trust took over management of the reserve and it is now a site of special interest.

The pond is relatively deep and fringed with reed swamp and areas of herb rich fen. Ideal habitat for a wide range of invertebrates, from water scorpions to dragonfly.

Woodland and scrub surround the site., which adds to the bird interest seen year round on the pond itself.

A total of 140 species of bird have been recorded on and around Joe’s Pond.


The Sunday Stone

This incredible rock has layers that tell the story of the working class lives and hardships of miners in the 1800s.

Forming in a water trough at the bottom of a nearby Tyneside coal mine.

The Sunday Stone is a calcareous deposit that formed as slowly flowing water deposited a white mineral (calcium carbonate) coating the drainage trough at the bottom of the mine.

When coal was extracted, the layers of carbonate laid down were blackened by the coal dust that filled the air in the mine during the working day.

A pair of light and dark bands represents one 24-hour working day. The dark band marks each day shift in the heavy, dust-laden atmosphere, whereas the thinner, light band shows the hours of inactivity during the night. Thicker light coloured bands appeared on Sundays, on holidays and at other interruptions in the mine when the water would run clear for 48 hours.

Source = National History Museum

Enchanted Living at LAL Photography

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Joe's Pond

Location of the Month

Each month we’ll highlight a local location we love to shoot.

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May = Rainton Meadows


I am standing amid an aliveness, and that aliveness deserves my attention, my respect, my care …

The insects and birds and animals are singing themselves into being; this autumn land is dreaming and I am part of that dreaming.

Why is Photography Important?

I’ve read that children feel safe, welcome, seen and loved if there are images of themselves in the family home. I love this idea and think this is something every family needs to know.

You see stories, memories and keepsakes are important. Life is short. Our humanity is what makes us beautiful. The light will never look or be seen the same again and neither will we. We will never have this moment again.

So, let’s capture it!

I’m Lesley-Anne, also known as LAL.

Our humanity is what makes us beautiful.

The light will never look the same or be seen the same again and neither will we.

We will never have this moment again.

So, let’s capture it!

Why Choose Me, as your Family Photographer

It’s your story and your legacy. It’s how I see your story through my lens.

I am one of a handful of photographers in my area and in the UK that showcase honest, authentic, everyday moments. This is my speciality!

I am noticing delicate, awe-inspiring moments and connection. I am seeing these with every family I am lucky enough to spend time with.

I want to share what I see with you.


I want you to fall in love with your family time and time again!

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