To get planning permission for a surface mine, a plan for its restoration must also be produced, detailing how the land will be landscaped once the mining is complete.
At Shotton, the land owner and the mining company decided to also create a landscape that the local community can enjoy now – Northumberlandia.
But she is part of the restoration design too. Eventually the whole area will be restored, and the intention is to leave it with a richer and more diverse landscape than before the mining happened.
The hole will be filled with the waste rock and the soil replaced on top.
Some of the land will be returned to agricultural use but woodland, wildflower meadows, ponds and wetlands are also in the plan. 88000 trees will be planted, and new hedgerows installed. There will be a further 9 kilometres of new paths.
A new environment will be created, with a variety of habitats to encourage plenty of wildlife, and before long, this view won’t exist.