Options on table for dam in park

Humford Dam on the River Blyth in Bedlington.
Humford Dam on the River Blyth in Bedlington.

Three options are now on the table in relation to the ‘jewel in the crown’ of Humford Country Park in Bedlington.

And according to one of the campaigners against any plans to demolish Humford Dam, this action is no longer being considered.

Concerns were raised by the group of residents at a meeting of West Bedlington Town Council earlier this year after document from the Northumberland Rivers Trust (NRT), dated January 2017, was leaked to them in April.

It mentioned Environment Agency funding being allocated for potential works to remove the significant concrete weir.

But following the public opposition, discussions were recently held involving residents’ representatives, Environment Agency staff, the director of the NRT and local angling associations.

One of Bedlington’s independent county councillors, Russ Wallace, attended to observe in a neutral capacity and chaired the meeting.

Resident Tony Rugman-Jones, who attended, said afterwards: “Three options were agreed – improving the existing fish pass, building a new fish pass and providing a fish by-pass. These are to be examined in detail during the remainder of the Environment Agency’s budgetary year.

“Whilst acknowledging some competing issues as between river management, protection of heritage assets and the welfare of the Country Park and nature reserve, there was a shared willingness to look to develop solutions that avoid demolition, which has now been put aside.”