Praise is given for restoration project

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The quality of the restoration work carried out by a north east mining firm at its surface mining schemes in the region has been recognised by a party of visiting industry experts.

A delegation from the British Land Reclamation Society (BLRS) has been visiting a number of Banks Mining’s sites.

The group visited the operational Shotton and Brenkley Lane surface mines near Cramlington before going on to the nearby recently-completed 46-hectare South Park on the Blagdon Estate, which formed part of Banks’ Delhi surface mine.

This land has been specifically restored to recreate a 200 year-old Northumberland landscape that was lost decades ago, and a plan of the Estate from 1755 as well as aerial photographs from the 1940s were used by Banks to design its restoration.

The project was completed in early 2013 in the style of famed Northumberland-born landscape architect Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, which had influenced the land’s original layout.

The BLRS group also visited the £3m Northumberlandia, designed by Charles Jencks, which Banks helped to finance.

Mark Simmons, landscape architect at the Banks Group, said: “Our responsibility for the land that we work lasts for many years after we finish coaling – the restoration and aftercare of a site is just as much of a priority as the operational side of any scheme, and we aim to deliver a lasting positive legacy for both the local area and the wider region.”