Green Party concern over beach sink holes

A warning sign at Hadston Carrs beach. 'Picture by Jane Coltman
A warning sign at Hadston Carrs beach. 'Picture by Jane Coltman

Concerns about ‘the danger to life and the environmental impact’ have been raised by The Green Party, after sink holes have appeared on a picturesque stretch of coastline.

Earlier this month, the Gazette reported how Northumberland County Council had erected warning signs after the holes sprung up at various parts of Druridge Bay.

Now The Green Party has voiced concerns and believes the holes are likely the result of coal-mining works closed off in the 1960s or surface-beach mining in the 1980s.

A spokesman said: “This is a fragile stretch of protected coast and is of international importance for wildlife. The dying coal industry has left us with a legacy of environmental damage that will last for decades. Sulphur dioxide has been observed bubbling from the sink holes on the beach. The mining industry must be held responsible for funding the necessary remedial work to protect the beach users and ecology of the area – even long after the mines have closed.”

The party has raised the issue of acid-mine drainage and its effects on the environment with the county council’s planning department regarding Banks’ proposed surface mine near to Widdrington.

A Coal Authority spokeswoman said: “In May, we received a report of a sink hole on the beach at Druridge Bay. Our regional team responded quickly and visited the site.

“Our initial site visit and desktop investigations have not shown that this is related to coal-mining subsidence. But, we are using our expertise to work with the county council to determine its cause.”