OPENCAST: Think of the wider impact

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How wonderful of Northumberland county councillors to grant an opencast mine at Druridge Bay.

With any luck, the peace and quiet of Druridge Bay will be turned into one full of heavy plant machinery and blasting. Great stuff.

Can you imagine all those pink footed geese coming over in October, landing in the fields, and “boom”, taking off again so startled they won’t know which way to go. Funny eh? I even heard a local saying we can call them black footed geese once the mine starts — a new breed maybe will entice more birdwatchers.

I was thinking, too, how funny it will be with a huge traffic jam of HGVs stuck behind tractors trundling along. Parents will have to give kids notes to explain why they have been late for school, but it’s a good lesson in learning patience don’t you think? And while in the queue at the junction, waiting to turn onto the A1068, it will give me plenty of thinking time, always a good thing.

The other thing I am looking forward to is the sirens. I’ve not heard sirens since I was a kid passing the factories in North Shields. They would go off at the end of shift. However, we at Druridge Bay will have it even better, with blasting up to four times per day and sirens going off before and after. It will be like training in case there is another world war.

People often go to Druridge Bay, but have no idea of the wildlife there. It is kind of Banks Mining to relocate the animals, forcing them onto the road. It’s the only time I ever see badgers, deer and foxes up close. The magpies and crows will have a whale of a time.

It’s odd how folk have the notion that the opencast could be on the beach. Why would they ruin it for the bucket and spade brigade? Much better to keep it further back, then if you don’t turn around on the dunes you don’t even know it’s there. It will even bring the Cheviot Hills slightly closer for us. Maybe I could spot a mountain hare.

One of my main bugbears is not being able to get a seat at The Drift Café. There are always so many people there. I’m hoping that it will be much quieter and I can choose a seat. None of those walkers and cyclists taking up all the room.

And don’t forget to check on the falling prices at the nearby caravan park as I’m always up for a bargain.

Speaking of which, isn’t it good to see so many for sale signs up along Mile Road, with the Ferneybeds opencast still not under way? Blight can be a good thing for first time buyers.

Yes, opencast mining has many pluses. I can’t wait for it to start, what about you?

What? They’ve asked for it to be called-in for the Government to decide? What idiot did that?

Lynne Tate

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