Famous face attends protest

Bill Oddie at the picnic and beach party, held in protest to Banks Mining's opencast plans for near Widdrington. Picture by Brian Morris

Bill Oddie at the picnic and beach party, held in protest to Banks Mining's opencast plans for near Widdrington. Picture by Brian Morris

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TV personality and renowned conservationist Bill Oddie attended a family beach party and picnic on Bank Holiday Monday, which was held in opposition to controversial plans for opencast operations.

The celebrity guest was at the event, held on the beach opposite the Drift Café just north of Cresswell, as part of the protest against Banks Mining’s Highthorn surface-mine bid, earmarked for near Widdrington.

The Save Druridge group teamed up with various organisations, including Friends of the Earth (FoE), to put together the event.

As a result of the FoE involvement, Oddie agreed to be special guest. Prior to the picnic, he said: “When I heard that there was a threat of opencast mining in Druridge Bay, I honestly thought it had to be a rather sick April Fool’s Day prank.”