Causeway repairs attempt to resolve standing-water issue

Repairs are due to take place on Holy Islands causeway next month.
Repairs are due to take place on Holy Islands causeway next month.

Long-awaited work that will remove standing water from Holy Island’s tidal causeway is scheduled to take place next month.

Around one hectare of salt marsh will also be relocated as part of efforts to restore areas damaged by traffic.

The scheme is being coordinated by Northumberland County Council in partnership with Natural England, which has responsibility for protecting the Lindisfarne National Nature Reserve.

A county council spokesman said: “The aim of the work is primarily to remove standing water from the causeway and restore areas of eroded salt marsh where vehicles have driven off the causeway and onto the protected salt marsh vegetation.

“It involves digging two trenches, one either side of the causeway, approximately two metres away from the edge of the carriageway, and carefully lifting and relocating an area of salt-marsh vegetation which currently impedes the draining of the causeway following high tide.

“The saltmarsh will be re-located to other areas which have previously been damaged by vehicles.

“All required consents are in place and the work is scheduled to start during October and expected to take three to four weeks.

“Some traffic control may be required, however, we aim to keep disruption to an absolute minimum.

“The council has worked very closely with Natural England and will continue to do so throughout the project.”

The cost of the work is around £25,000, which is being funded jointly from the council’s highway drainage budget and by Coun Dougie Watkin, ward member for Norham and Islandshires, through his members’ small schemes fund.

Coun Watkin said: “I can only apologise for standing back two years ago, but at the time I thought leaving all parties to sort it out was the best solution hindsight has proven you probably can have too much consultation.

“I can only pray it forms if not a total solution then a step in the right direction.”