Kirkharle lorry oil spill 'threatens endangered crayfish'

White-clawed crayfish The River Wansbeck is home to a population of native white-clawed crayfish

Related Stories

A fuel spillage from an overturned lorry has left fears the habitat of the endangered white-clawed crayfish will be damaged.

The tanker shed about 27,000 litres of aviation fuel, around two-thirds of its load, when it crashed on the A696 near Kirkharle early on Monday.

A clean-up operation is under way, and could take weeks to complete.

Environment Agency officers are also monitoring a nearby stream which runs into the River Wansbeck.

Absorbent booms have been put into nearby water courses, to contain any leaking oil.

'Notice a smell'

Dave Edwardson, from the Environment Agency, said: "We're very concerned about potential pollution.

"The Wansbeck catchment is very important for the population of native crayfish, so we've got ecology officers monitoring the impact.

"It's inevitable with a spillage of such a large quantity of oil that not all of it will be contained on site.

"People living nearby will see some evidence on the surface of water courses, and they will certainly notice a smell in the surrounding area."

Environmental officers would be on the site regularly to monitor the progress of the clean-up, Mr Edwardson added.

The incident led to the closure of a section of the A696 - one of the main routes into Scotland - for more than 30 hours.

On 28 May, the same road was blocked when a wind turbine stem came off a trailer near Otterburn. The recovery operation took five days.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Tyne & Wear


Newcastle upon Tyne

15 °C 11 °C


  • Peaky Blinders publicity shotBrum do

    Why is the Birmingham accent so difficult to mimic?

  • Oliver CromwellA brief history

    The 900 year story behind the creation of a UK parliament

  • Image of Ankor Wat using lidarJungle Atlantis

    How lasers have revealed an ancient city beneath the forest

  • TheatreBard taste? Watch

    Are trailer videos on social media spoiling theatre?

  • Agents with the US Secret Service, such as this one, are responsible for guarding the presidentHard at work

    White House break-in adds to Secret Service woes

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.