Clean-up event on Northumberland beach affected by leaked landfill waste

A beach clean is taking place this week on a ‘sadly neglected’ stretch of the Northumberland coast, which is affected by leaked landfill waste.

Thursday, 21st February 2019, 11:34 am
Updated Thursday, 21st February 2019, 11:42 am
The eroding cliffside at Lynemouth beach, which is exposing old landfill waste.

The clean-up, which is taking place tomorrow (Friday, February 22) from 10am to 2pm on the beach at Lynemouth, is being coordinated by the River Lyne sub-group of the Northumberland Rivers Catchment Partnership.

The event’s Facebook page says: ‘Lynemouth Beach is sadly neglected. It suffers from an accumulation of waste from previous landfill as well as all the usual beach litter. Join us at this community event which aims to start to address some of the issues here.’

The additional issues at Lynemouth relate to the erosion of the cliffside at an old colliery landfill site, which was subject to a land reclamation by Northumberland County Council in the early 2000s, meaning the local authority is responsible for it.

Speaking to ITV Tyne Tees recently, the council’s countryside and green spaces manager, Mike Jeffrey, said: “That landfill site probably comprises hundreds of thousands of tonnes of material, so the prospect of the county council being able to afford to excavate it and remove it from sight is very, very slim. It would cost many, many millions of pounds to do that.

“I think there is a responsibility on us all to try to do something about it. We think the best that’s probably possible here is that we monitor it, we keep an eye on it, we remove the litter on a regular basis, that is falling out of the cliff face onto the beach.

“We try to prevent as much of that material as possible getting into the sea, but the prospect of being able to remove it all is very slim.

“If the Government were able to fund us to do it, we would be more than happy to undertake that work.”

For more information about the beach clean event, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/365832180912140/

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service