Open­cast site restora­tion

Rusha land work in its fi­nal stages

West Lothian Courier - - Courier View - Mar­jorie Kerr

Restora­tion work at a for­mer West Loth­ian open­cast mine is mov­ing to­wards its fi­nal stages.

Banks Min­ing has been work­ing on the restora­tion of its Rusha sur­face coal mine near Bre­ich since coal pro­duc­tion fin­ished in April last year.

Work at the Rusha site has now been sus­pended un­til next spring, when it is hoped that weather and ground con­di­tions will be suit­able for the fi­nal soil re­place­ment to be com­pleted.

The site will be reg­u­larly vis­ited by the Rusha man­age­ment team over the win­ter to en­sure no is­sues arise un­no­ticed, and it is ex­pected that restora­tion will be com­plete by the end of next sum­mer.

The com­pany is also look­ing for fur­ther ap­pli­ca­tions to the com­mu­nity ben­e­fits fund linked to the Rusha sur­face mine, from which 17 grants to­talling over £49,000 have al­ready been al­lo­cated to a va­ri­ety of com­mu­nity projects in the lo­cal area, in­clud­ing Bre­ich Val­ley Church, the Stoney­burn and Bents Fu­ture Vi­sion roup, the West Calder Bowl­ing Club, and the Bee Happy Craft Group.

A fur­ther £19,264 is still avail­able to sup­port suit­able groups and good causes in the Fauld­house and Bre­ich Val­ley ward, and the firm is hop­ing to be able to dis­trib­ute this over the next year.

Mark Dow­dall, en­vi­ron­ment and com­mu­nity di­rec­tor at The Banks Group, says: “Banks Min­ing has a proud record of fully restor­ing ev­ery sin­gle one of the 111 sur­face mines we have worked in the last four decades, and we’re pleased with the progress of restora­tion work at Rusha over the last year.

“The very wet weather over the last few weeks means we can’t carry out soil han­dling and re­place­ment work, so need to wait un­til drier weather and ground con­di­tions ar­rive in the spring in or­der to com­plete the job. Our aim is to com­plete this work by the end of next sum­mer, at which point a five-year af­ter­care plan will come into ef­fect which will see fur­ther land­scap­ing work in­volv­ing un­der­drainage, ditch­ing and cul­ti­va­tion, tree and hedge plant­ing car­ried out to de­liver the ap­proved restora­tion plan.

“The Banks Com­mu­nity Fund for the Rusha site has sup­ported many com­mu­nity projects over the last few years, mak­ing a big dif­fer­ence to the fa­cil­i­ties that are avail­able to lo­cal peo­ple, and we know there will be other groups and good causes around the area that could also ben­e­fit.

“We’re keen to al­lo­cate the re­main­ing monies within the com­ing months and would en­cour­age lo­cal com­mu­nity groups to make ap­pli­ca­tions sooner rather than later.”

Any is­sues re­lat­ing to the Rusha site over the win­ter pe­riod can be re­ported to site man­ager Ian Ritchie on 0771 470 2323.

Any­one look­ing for sup­port from the Rusha com­mu­nity fund should con­tact James Ea­gle­sham at the Banks Com­mu­nity Fund on 0191 378 6342 or via james@bankscom­mu­ni­ty­fund. org.uk to check whether their group or project is el­i­gi­ble.

Our aim is to com­plete this work by the end of next sum­mer

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