ENVIRONMENT: Devastation is shocking

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The area of Furnace Bank in Bedlington is potentially a very valuable, rich environment for flora and fauna, with all the positive benefits that brings for wildlife, local residents and visitors alike.

However, the habitual devastation of this environment is shocking.

In the two years since moving here, we have approached Northumberland County Council, generally receiving discouraging responses.

We have also frequently contacted the team that clears fly-tipped waste, which, in response, promptly cleared waste to the rear of Beatty Road, only to see it repeatedly accumulate.

Following the efforts of my husband to clear waste, he met with an environmental officer, who agreed to arrange a publicised litter-pick, erection of warning signs regarding the illegality of tipping, an increase in dog waste bins at strategic points, and to organise an initial Clean Up Day, hoping that this would lead to a constructive community response.

Nothing materialised.

We both work full-time and are unable to organise tackling the scale of this serious environmental degradation as private individuals.

We note with interest in recent editions of the News Post Leader coverage of potential improvements and developments for the centre of Bedlington, which are urgently required.

However, just yards away in East Bedlington, environmental degradation at a shocking level seems to go unchecked.

Regrettably, Furnace Bank and the paths and banks leading alongside it towards Bedlington town appear to be an area in which illegal fly-tipping and wide-scale accumulation of litter and dog waste occurs repeatedly.

We appreciate the devastating impact of the cuts to local authority budgets and the pressure this places upon the workloads of all still in post.

However, the apparent absence of any serious response to this long-standing problem at county or parish council level indicates an attitude that the residents of East Bedlington can tolerate living in an environment overflowing with detritus.

We do not know what else to do now, but to publicise this environmental destruction.

We write this letter hoping that others reading it might also lobby Northumberland County Council and East Bedlington Parish Council in order to achieve a coherent, enforceable and positive change for the area.

Since writing the above, we have had a response from Mike Jeffrey, countryside and green spaces manager, indicating a willingness to respond to the abuse of the local environment.

Please could we request that anyone else who values the local area also contacts him at mike.jeffrey@northumberland.gov.uk to show that this concern is shared by others.

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