Scouts flock to help improve woodland

Members of the 1st Dinnington Scouts, who have been helping Banks Mining workers with the company's habitat improvement project in the woodland surrounding its Shotton and Brenkley Lane surface mines.

Members of the 1st Dinnington Scouts, who have been helping Banks Mining workers with the company's habitat improvement project in the woodland surrounding its Shotton and Brenkley Lane surface mines.

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MEMBERS of a scout group are going back to nature to help improve the habitats enjoyed by local birdlife in a part of Northumberland.

The 10 to 13-year-olds from 1st Dinnington Scout Group are working with regional developer The Banks Group around the building and helping with the erection of new bird boxes around Banks’ Brenkley Lane and Shotton surface mines.

In total, about 50 additional boxes will be installed within the woodland surrounding the two operational sites.

The work is being carried out as part of Banks’ Biodiversity Action Plan, progressive restoration and landscaping programmes, which will create new wildlife corridors to link with other nearby habitats.

A number of more mature trees have also been translocated to the site from elsewhere on the Blagdon Estate in order to provide a mixed woodland environment, with new hedgerows being added in where required.

Scout group leader Geoff Hayes said: “All the boys and girls live locally, but none of them have been into this area previously.

“It’s been very valuable for them to be part of this project and see how the environment in which they’re working is comprised and we’re very pleased to have been able to take up Banks’ invitation to be part of this interesting and important project.”

Banks recently revealed plans to mine a total of around a million additional tonnes of coal at the two sites.

A planning application for the Shotton South West project is expected to be submitted within the next few weeks, with a proposal for the Brenkley additional scheme set to be put forward around the same time.