Friday, June 27, 2008

News: End of an era for Derek’s years of restoration


Thirteen years and £20m of restoration work on a former coke works in Rotherham is set to come to an end next month, with some real environmental enhancements gained. The Waverley site, which had been used for more than 200 years for coal mining and industrial activity, has undergone a total transformation since 1995 from a bleak mining site with dirty rivers and contaminated land, to an area with a real future. More than four million tonnes of waste from the former coke works and 30 million tonnes of spoil contained in the Orgreave colliery pit tip has been remediated as part of the Orgreave Reclamation Scheme as well as the re-routing, decontamination and aeration of the River Rother. Site manager, Derek Harrison, (55) from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, has seen Waverley's regeneration first hand, after working alongside more than 120 colleagues on the 741-acre site for more than eight years for owners, property and energy company, UK COAL. Derek has worked on the contouring of development platforms, a major surface water drainage scheme, landscape planting, ecological enhancements and the implementation of public footpaths. He said: "It has been extremely rewarding to see Waverley develop from an industrial wasteland into a vast restored area. "It's gone from a dark, dirty and smelly area, to a mass of remediated landscape which we hope to secure a sustainable community on, complete with lakes and reservoirs, improved public access and the creation of dedicated woodland and wildflower grasslands. "The river was once the dirtiest in Europe, but now has good water quality. To add to this, the land has been designed to attract nature."
Waverley Community website


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