OPENCAST: Consider the wider impact

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How wonderful of Northumberland county councillors to grant a fantastic application for an opencast mine at Druridge Bay.

With any luck, the peace and quiet of Druridge Bay will be turned into one full of heavy plant machinery and blasting. Great stuff.

Can you imagine all those pink footed geese coming over in October after their long flights, landing in the fields, and ‘boom’, taking off again so startled they won’t know which way to go? Funny eh? I even heard a local saying we can call them black footed geese once the mine starts – a new breed maybe will entice more birdwatchers.

I was thinking, too, of how funny it will be with a huge traffic jam of HGV’s stuck behind all the tractors trundling along at 15mph. I think the parents will have to give their kids notes to explain why they have been late for school again, but it’s a good lesson in learning some patience don’t you think? And while in the queue at the junction, waiting to turn onto the A1068, it will give me plenty of thinking time, always a good thing.

The other thing I am looking forward to is the sirens. I’ve not heard sirens since I was a kid passing the factories at Norham Road in North Shields. They would go off when it was the end of shift.

However, we at Druridge Bay will have it even better. With blasting up to four times per day and sirens going off before and after, can you imagine? It will be like training in case there is another world war. Yes folks, we will have that training before you in your towns.

You know people often go down to Druridge Bay, but have no idea of the wildlife down there, especially between the main A1068 road and the coast with the nature reserves. I thought it was kind of Banks Mining to relocate the animals living there, forcing them onto the road. It’s the only time I ever see badgers, deer and foxes up close. The magpies and crows will have a whale of a time. There’s always a plus side in mining.

It’s also odd how folk have the notion that the opencast could be on the beach. Why would they do that and ruin it for the bucket and spade brigade? Much better to keep it further back in just ‘a field’, then if you don’t turn around on the dunes you don’t even know it’s there. Great thinking, and it will even bring the Cheviot Hills slightly closer for us rather than that awful flat open space. Maybe I could spot a mountain hare.

One of my main bugbears now is not being able to get a seat at The Drift Café. There are always so many people there and cars parked up along the road. I’m hoping that it will be much quieter and I can choose a seat for a change. None of those walkers and cyclists taking up all the room.

Oh and don’t forget to check on the falling prices of the caravans at the nearby caravan park as I’m always up for a bargain.

Speaking of which, isn’t it good to see so many for sale signs up along Mile Road, Widdrington, with the Ferneybeds opencast still not under way? Blight can be a good thing for first-time buyers.

Yes opencast mining has many pluses. I can’t wait for it to start, what about you?

What? They’ve asked for it to be called-in for the Government to decide? What idiot did that?

Lynne Tate,

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