Cleaning up the Tyne – historic metal mining legacy

We are working with the Coal Authority’s delivery partner JN Bentley Ltd to implement several projects in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), all of which are designed to tackle the legacy of historic metal mining. A number of pollution sources can be found at many of the historic mines and these affect the status of upland watercourses which drain into the South Tyne.

The projects form part of a package of measures implemented by the Coal Authority and the Environment Agency under the Water and Abandoned Metal Mines Programme. The driver for implementing the measures is to achieve Water Framework Directive and Environmental Quality Standard target compliance within tributaries of the South Tyne, such as the Nent and West Allen.

Integrated engineering and environmental services

Against a backdrop of a very tight delivery programme, our staff have worked hard to produce designs, environmental studies and consultations to secure planning permissions and consents. These allow for the construction of a check weir in the River Nent at Nentsberry, and the repair and restoration of a large tailings deposit on the River West Allen at Carrshield. At both sites, metal contaminated sediments find their way into the river systems.

The purpose of the works is to prevent the on-going migration of pollutants into the watercourses, to achieve long term water quality improvements, by arresting sediment contamination.

Future planned works

In addition to the Nentsberry and Carrshield sites, we are undertaking feasibility and optioneering studies to investigate other planned interventions. This includes capture of contaminated sediments, minewater treatment and surface water management to address metal contamination at other sites in the wider Nent and West Allen catchment areas.

Want to know more?

Contact Mike McDonald, Technical Director, or Andy Thomas, Senior Engineer, for more information on this project and how we can help you in the future. You can also visit our engineering and environmental web pages.

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