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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 October 2005, 19:08 GMT 20:08 UK
Community battles mine flooding
Flood experts are helping a Teesside community battling against rising water from abandoned mine workings.

An action group was set up after mine water flooded ancient woodland, a park and a beach - staining the beauty spots a rusty ochre colour.

The polluted water is discharging close to North Skelton ironstone mine, one of about 60 mines in east Cleveland.

Now the Environment Agency is offering support and is attempting to attract funding to research the problem.

The mine was one of the last ones to be worked and closed in 1964. When it shut, the operators also turned off the pumps and the water levels have been seeping back ever since.

Technical advice

Saltburn residents first noticed a problem in 1998 and the mine water, which is not toxic but has high levels of dissolved iron, has smothered most of the wildlife in a trout beck flowing through the Site of Scientific Interest at Saltburn Nature Reserve.

Environment Agency officer Don Mason said: "Action needs to be taken and we have been providing technical advice to the action group to see if there is a way forward.

"We will continue to work with the community and hopefully find a solution to this complex and age-old problem."

The action group is also working with several interested parties including Newcastle and Teesside University, Tees Valley Wildlife Trust and the Loftus Development Trust.




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