Park marks ten years

Weetslade Country Park.

Weetslade Country Park.

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A former colliery site is marking ten years since being transformed into a country park.

During 1947, around 160,000 tons of coal was dug from Weetslade Colliery, which eventually closed in 1966 and abandoned for re-colonisation in 1980.

The site was eventually extensively landscaped, with the creation of hill, grassland, scrub, reedbed and woodland areas, along with the installation of a drill head sculpture at the summit.

National management charity, the Land Trust, took over the site and are celebrating ten years of managing Weetslade Country Park on behalf of Northumberland Widllife Trust.

Alan Carter, director of portfolio management at the Trust, said: “Since opening 10 years ago, Weetslade Country Park has unlocked vast potential that lay dormant.”

“It has provided open, accessible space for people to walk, run, cycle, bring the dog and picnic beside the varied species of wildlife that have settled here.

“The success of the park is testament to a strong, prosperous partnership between the Land Trust and Northumberland Wildlife Trust, harnessed in tandem with community input that has driven, and continues to push, the park to new heights.”

Weetslade Country Park has been embraced by the community it serves, particularly proving popular with volunteers.

In the past few years the park has progressed to become a popular venue for local schools’ visits and student trips to study its incredible transformation from an industrial heartland to hotbed of biodiversity.

Duncan Hutt, head of land management for Northumberland Wildlife Trust, added: “The dedicated team of volunteers who keep the Weetslade Country Park tidy and a great place for wildlife to thrive have been fantastic.”