1. ITV Report

Opponents say opencast mine would scar Northumberland landscape

The site of the proposed opencast mine Photo: ITV News

Plans to create an opencast mine in a Northumberland beauty spot have met with huge opposition.

UK Coal wants to build the mine on land near the villages of Hedley on the Hill and Whittonstall, excavating two million tonnes of coal over seven years.

But opponents say it would not only leave a huge scar on the landscape but also ruin the area's economy, with many businesses reliant on tourism.

The Feathers Inn, in Hedley on the Hill Credit: ITV News

One of those businesses is the award-winning Feathers Inn, at Hedley on the Hill. It was recently named as the best pub in Britain and has built up a reputation for quality food.

Helen Greer, who runs the pub with her husband, says with a mine behind the building and heavy goods vehicles in front of it, the hard work they've put in building up that reputation could all be for nothing.

An opencast mine in Northumberland Credit: ITV News

UK Coal says it has worked closely with the community to alleviate some of their concerns.

The company has pledged to provide screening around the site and is monitoring dust levels. It claims that noise and dust levels are checked at working opencast mines every fifteen minutes to ensure they remain within acceptable levels.

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