South Leeds: Mine landscape restored

The restored Moss Carr site.
The restored Moss Carr site.
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A ten-year landscaping project at the site of the former Moss Nook surface mine has been completed.

Banks Mining, part of the Durham-based Banks Group, mined over a million tonnes of coal at the 200-hectare Methley South and Moss Carr site between Methley and Rothwell between 1997 and 2004, before completing initial restoration work during the following year.

Since 2005 one of the largest new broad leaf woodlands in the area has been created, which encompasses 43,000 trees on a 30-hectare part of the site and which links up with existing woodlands, while the new Hugh Calverley playing fields were also added on land between the site and Rothwell Sports Centre.

Other features include new wetlands, a new avenue of trees, around 6.5 kilometres of new hedges and a new area of parkland - as part of an aftercare management plan put into action by Banks Mining and Mexborough Estates.

The project has won praise from Leeds City Council.

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After completing his final tour of the Moss Carr site Max Rathmell, Leeds City Council minerals, waste and contaminated land manager, said: “The new woodland has achieved some prodigious tree growth and a commendable degree of success, with the number of self-sown trees, particularly oak, being a pointer towards a healthy environment.

“There is also good range of herbaceous plants to be found, while the main pond on the site is simply a delight to behold.”

Footpaths including a section of the Leeds Country Way were also reinstated, with new features such as ‘green lane’ hedging and direction markers.

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