Northumberland played host to a major multi-agency course aimed at protecting the region’s coastline.
The council facilitated a two-day Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) beach supervisor’s course, which trained a number of organisations on how to deal with a major pollution incident such as an oil spill. The course attracted representatives from councils, the emergency services and the Environment Agency.
Protecting the natural environment is a key concern in Northumberland, which boasts a unique landscape containing several Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and historical sites.
Coun Dave Ledger, who chairs the county council’s emergency committee, said: “It’s vital we protect and conserve the habitats and environment from any threat of, or actual, pollution and that’s why courses such as this are critical to developing our capability to respond.
“Northumberland County Council and our Northumbria Local Resilience Forum partner coastal authorities have had marine pollution contingency plans for several years and it’s important that we continue to maintain and exercise them.
“While we hope that the marine pollution contingency plan will never be required, events in recent years, such as the grounding of the MV Danio on the Farne Islands, prove that we cannot be complacent and that being prepared for the unexpected is the best insurance to preventing or mitigating the effects of such incidents.”
This course included a number of practical sessions on the county’s beaches and the council also wishes to thank Amble Lifeboat Station for hosting participants on the second practical exercise day.