The colliery spoil tip at Womersley near Darrington, south of the A1/M62 interchange, had acted as the disposal point for spoil from the nearby Kellingley Colliery which was the last operational deep coal mine in the UK. Due to the deposition of millions of tonnes of deep mined colliery spoil the restoration scheme required the specialist 4R ‘spoil to soil’ restoration scheme approach.
Our consultancy team worked with the landowner to agree a restoration masterplan on 90 hectares to create soils where no natural soil resources remained.
The project started in September 2016 under Environmental Permitting Regulation consents which were applied for by 4R and approved by the Environment Agency. Approximately 90,000 tonnes of suitable organic materials were used to treat on site colliery spoil and limestone fines remaining on site from when it was an active limestone quarry.
In the autumn of 2017, part of the site was seeded with a low maintenance, non-ryegrass seed mix. This seed mix established well despite the autumnal conditions at the time and a steeply sloping bank was stabilised by the plant growth. The slope, facing nearby residents, was revegetated such that the view from the neighbours was dramatically improved and for the first time since they moved to their home this area of the site was visually attractive compared to black colliery spoil.
A grass sward is now developing across the site and will soon be ready for its planned end use of amenity green space and woodland to benefit the local community.
If you have a site to improve or restore, please contact Paul Whyatt or Mike Holt on 0800 0121 769 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.