Northumberland Agricultural Secretaries on site at Shotton for fact-finding visit

October 8, 2014 | Brenkley News

Northumberland-based members of a rural business organisation have been on site at a county surface mine to find out more about how its operators work with landowners.

A party from the Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators (IAgSA) visited regional employer Banks Mining’s Shotton surface mine near Cramlington to see for themselves how a modern surface mine operates and examine the work done on site by the Banks team.

The Institute represents and supports hundreds of farm and rural business administrators across the UK, and promotes excellence in farm business administration.

The IAgSA party, which included people from right across the county, heard presentations on Banks’ operations at Shotton, including the creation of the nearby Northumberlandia landform, which was formed using 1.5 million tonnes of carefully selected stone, clay and soil taken from the Shotton site, and also on the way in which the land used for the mine is managed and restored.

Banks employs over 200 people across the Shotton and nearby Brenkley Lane surface mine sites, and contributes around £35m to the regional economy every year through wages, investments and the local supply chain.

Daphne Henderson, a member of the Northumberland branch of IAgSA who was part of the visiting party, says: “All our members know this area well and travel past the Shotton site regularly, so getting the chance to see what it was like from the inside was a great opportunity for our group, and the feedback I’ve had has been really positive.

“The relationships that our members have with commercial partners such as Banks have a great impact on the success of the businesses that they help to run, and the Institute aims to help them gain new insights through events like this which will assist them in their daily work.”

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at The Banks Group, adds: “Whilst providing an essential indigenous source of energy for the UK, surface coal mining also creates an opportunity to work with landowners to deliver landscape improvements, to enhance the biodiversity and to improve the agricultural quality or the amenity value of the land, and it was useful to show the IAgSA visitors how this is being put into practice at our Shotton surface coal mine.”

For more information about operations at the Shotton surface mine, please visit

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