Elba Park taken on by Groundwork in North East

Groundwork North East has taken on a 52ha county park on the site of a former mine and cokeworks.

Elba Park opened to the public last month after £25m was spent on the reclamation of contaminated land at Lambton colliery and cokeworks near Sunderland.

Contractors moved more than two million cubic metres of soil, planted 77,000 trees and created 37km of winding footpaths.

The park was named after a village that once stood by a curve, or elbow, of a railway line. The mine ground to a halt in the 1980s, when buildings were demolished and the land left derelict.

At the centre of the site there now stands a memorial by the artist Colin Wilbourn to the 127 pitmen known to have lost their lives during the mine's 364-year history. Nearby stands a series of wrought-iron sculptures in the style of miners' banners, while a new bridge over the burn includes a handrail made from miners' pickaxes.

The Homes & Communities Agency spent millions on the land reclamation it called a "green island and wildlife corridor". More than 350 houses are being built on an adjacent part of the site.

The agency handed over responsibility for the park to the Land Trust, which will work with Groundwork North East to manage the site. "We worked closely with local people over the past seven years to create this park," said Gill Hay, investment and regeneration manager at the agency.

Land Trust chief executive Euan Hall added: "We safeguard public spaces at a local level, in line with the ideals of localism and the 'Big Society' we hear so much about."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Sargent's solutions - regulations and legislative requirements underline the professional status of landscape contractors and gardeners

Sargent's solutions - regulations and legislative requirements underline the professional status of landscape contractors and gardeners

Regulations benefit individual gardeners and landscapers as well as the wider industry, Alan Sargent explains.



Customers do not often know about the different leaf colours and shapes offered by hollies, Miranda Kimberley reports.



These heralds of spring are highly suited to being planted in tree circles, grass and rock gardens, says Miranda Kimberley.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Horticulture Week Top 50 Landscape and maintenance contractors

See our exclusive ranking of landscape and maintenance contractors by annual turnover. 

Industry Data

An exclusive report for HW subscribers revealing the key development trends, clients and locations for 2017.


Free to subscribers, the essential guide for professional plant buyers

Download your copy

Products & Kit Resources