The Lady’s Neighbour

Last week I introduced you to the Lady of the North, Northumberlandia.

But I have to say that I’m not really into art, not even landscape art.  I was more interested in standing on the lady’s head to get a view of…

 

The Lady’s neighbour is Shotton Surface Mine, a large hole in the ground that is being dug to get to the layers of coal.  The coal can be mined in this way as it isn’t too far below the surface.

First the soil is removed and carefully stacked up so that it can be put back later.

The other layers of rock, on top of the coal layer, must also be removed.  At first these are also piled up but once the layer of coal has been taken out of part of the mine, the other rocks can be dumped there to start filling the hole again.

 

So this area is being mined from right to left.  The steeper slope on the left is still solid rock, waiting to be blasted and dug out.  While material from the bottom of the deep hole is being driven up a slope, on the loose rock that has been dumped on the area that has already been mined.

Once at the top the coal is piled up ready to be transported off the site.

But the mine is also the reason for Northumberlandia’s existence.  I’ll tell you more next week.