A rural business group has taken a trip to Blagdon to delve into the mining industry.
Northumberland members of the Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators (IAgSA) were invited to the Shotton surface mine near the estate.
The Institute, which supports hundreds of farm and rural business administrators across the UK, heard presentations on operator Banks Mining’s work in the area, and learnt about the creation of giant landform Northumberlandia, which was made using 1.5million tonnes of stone, clay and soil from Shotton.
They also heard about the way the land used for the mine is being managed and restored.
Member Daphne Henderson, who was part of the visiting party, said: “All our members know this area well and travel past the Shotton site regularly so getting the chance to see what it was like from the inside was a great opportunity for our group and the feedback I’ve had has been really positive.
“The relationships that our members have with commercial partners such as Banks have a great impact on the success of the businesses that they help to run and the Institute aims to help them gain new insights through events like this, which will assist them in their daily work.”
Banks Environment and Community Director Mark Dowdall said: “While providing an essential indigenous source of energy for the UK, surface coal mining also creates an opportunity to work with landowners to deliver landscape improvements, to enhance the biodiversity and to improve the agricultural quality or the amenity value of the land, and it was useful to show the IAgSA visitors how this is being put into practice.”