Restoration First

Development with care
• Having restored 111 surface mines across northern England and Scotland over the last 40 years, it is fair to say that the Banks team has built up a wealth of experience about how to secure the maximum possible benefits from such projects for landowners, local communities and the surrounding environment
• In the mid-1970s, when we first started working small sites under licence, the key driver for the country was the need to maximise the land available for food production, which is in part why the restored surface coalfields of Durham and South East Northumberland are characterised by large rectangular fields and coniferous woodland shelter belts
• As the importance of environmentalism, biodiversity and conservation subsequently grew, a shift occurred in thinking which created a far greater emphasis on linking restored landscapes more closely to the areas that surrounded them, and providing tangible environmental, landscape, ecological or recreational benefits to local communities
• We have been at the forefront of implementing the principle of ‘restoration first,’ where we seek to provide some of the benefits associated with mineral extraction and restoration in the early stages of operations, rather than having to wait until the job has been completed, as has tended to be the traditional approach
• This can involve several approaches, such as extra land not needed for mining being used to deliver a lasting positive legacy for both the local area and the wider region at an early stage in the development of a given surface mine

Banks Mining Restoration brochure, “Enhancing Your Environment”, June 2014

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