Repair work on Lady’s Walk landslip set to start soon

The landslip at Lady's Walk in Morpeth.' Picture by Jane Coltman
The landslip at Lady's Walk in Morpeth.' Picture by Jane Coltman

Work is set to begin over the next few weeks to repair a section of the river wall and Lady’s Walk footpath in Morpeth that was damaged by a landslip earlier in the year.

The landslip has led to material falling into the river, extensive damage to the footpath and is threatening an adjacent property.

Northumberland County Council will be employing contractors to carry out the work, which will involve the installation of a buried steel sheet pile wall to stabilise the land and the construction of a new 35-metre retaining wall along the river.

Access, ground conditions and environmental issues make this a very difficult repair to carry out and specialist machinery will be used to carry out the sheet piling works.

Once the initial buried steel sheet pile wall has been constructed to stabilise the land behind the footpath, a watertight pile wall will also be installed in the river to create a dry working zone to enable workmen to rebuild the river wall and reinstate the footpath.

Emergency work has already taken place to fence off and stabilise this section of the pedestrian walkway to prevent further collapse and erosion of unstable material.

Glen Sanderson, Northumberland County Council cabinet member for the environment and local services, said: “It is important that we repair and stabilise this area of river wall as soon as possible to prevent further damage and landslip.

“We also know that this stretch of footpath is popular with the local community.

“The stabilisation and repair is complex and expensive and will take many weeks, but we look forward to the wall being repaired and the path re-opened by early December.”

The local authority has been working closely with the Environment Agency on the scheme since the stretch of footpath subsided and fell into the River Wansbeck over the Easter weekend.

Because of the complexity of the repair, it has taken several weeks to identify the most appropriate solution and specialist machinery to carry out the work.

Any white clawed crayfish, which are a protected species found in the River Wansbeck, will be carefully removed from the working area.