August 13, 2014 | Community News
Restoration and landscaping work at the final part of a new community park near a South East Northumberland village has been completed.
Regional employer Banks Mining has been working to complete phase two of the Pegswood Community Park through the first half of 2014, after additional landscaping works were agreed with Northumberland County Council and Pegswood Parish Council.
Phase one of the park which is located on land to the east of the Pegswood surface mine was delivered under Banks’ “restoration first” principle in 2003, whilst the surface mine was still operating.
Banks had previously finalised the majority of the planned agricultural restoration and landscaping work on the operational area of the former Pegswood surface mine, which it operated between 1997 and 2005, but had been unable to complete the project’s second phase as originally planned due to the water level on the lake.
A range of restoration options for Phase Two were developed by Banks and discussed with local communities and with representatives of the County and Parish Councils and it was agreed that the existing landform and water level should be retained, with the lake area being landscaped with extra planting, footpaths, fencing and seeding.
Having appointed Bedlington-based landscape and environmental contractor W L Straughan & Son Ltd to work on the project, Banks’ landscape management team worked with them to implement the agreed work, which was carried out on schedule despite some very wet weather conditions.
New paths have been laid around the top end of the lake, the boulders placed on the sides of the lake have been repositioned, new park benches have been installed, a redundant outfall near the park’s car park has been filled, and seed sowing and planting have been undertaken.
Further maintenance and aftercare work will be carried out on the site over the summer and for the next five years.
Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at The Banks Group, says: “We’ve worked hard to get Phase Two of work at the park finished in time for local people to enjoy it during the summer. Over time the landscape works will become more established and we are pleased that we can now open the new footpath link from Pegswood through phases one and two of the park, through the mature woodland along the How Burn to the bottom of the Whorral Bank. A new bridleway has also been provided to the north of the lake linking phase one of the park to the Hebron Road. It’s a credit to Banks Group’s landscape and construction teams and to the Straughan’s team that we’ve been able to achieve this objective.
“Phase one of the Park has been very well used by local people since it was opened in 2003, and we’re certain that phase two will prove just as popular through the rest of the summer and beyond.”
Cllr Alan Sambrook, who chaired the Pegswood Moor Surface Mine Liaison Committee and represents the Pegswood Ward on Northumberland County Council, adds: “I’m pleased to see that Banks has completed the work needed to finalise the restoration of this valuable area, and that a successful outcome has been achieved through their work with Pegswood Parish Council, other surrounding parish councils and Morpeth Town Council – many thanks to everyone involved for their determination in getting this very worthy project finished.”
Phil Straughan, managing director at W L Straughan & Son Ltd, says: “It has been a pleasure working with such a professional company as The Banks Group on the restoration of the Pegswood Community Park, and sharing the common aim of producing an environmentally-friendly area for local people to enjoy which benefits both the community and the landscape.”
For more information on the project click here