Gedling Colliery's country park transformation work starts

Former Gedling Colliery site
Image caption The former colliery site has been taken over by nature

Work has begun to transform the former Gedling Colliery site into a £1.1m country park.

The 300-acre site, which was abandoned by UK Coal 20 years ago, will undergo remedial work before paths are built in May.

Conservationists had argued the site should be left undisturbed as it was a breeding ground for rare birds.

Gedling Borough Council leader John Clarke said it was too dangerous to be left alone.

Solar 'eyesore'

Image caption The site still has remnants of the old colliery

He said: "It's actually a dangerous site; there are bits of metal sticking out [of the ground] and holes that are not covered.

"A lot of people have said just leave it, but you can't leave a site like this. Sooner or later there will be an accident."

The authority has also given the go-ahead for a solar farm to be located at the former spoil tip in the middle of the park.

Mark Glover, chairman of the Gedling Conservation Trust, had said building a solar farm in the middle of a country park would be an eyesore.

However, Mr Clarke said the facility was small compared with the rest of the site and the energy generated would contribute to the running of the new park from the autumn.

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