Tyne & Wear

Erosion reveals tonnes of Lynemouth Beach waste

Pipes and cables on the sand at Lynemouth Beach Image copyright Steve Lowe
Image caption Pipes and cables are a common site on Lynemouth Beach

Campaigners have called for more to be done to clear up tonnes of rubbish being uncovered by erosion at a Northumberland beach.

Old mining pipes, cables and machinery dumped at Lynemouth are being exposed as waves wash away parts of the land.

Volunteers carried out a clean-up event on Friday in an effort to remove some of the items.

Northumberland County Council said it was working to identify a "viable and cost-effective solution".

Steve Lowe, a freelance ecologist working with the Rivers Trust, was among those who attended.

He said: "It's not good enough just to try to hide it away. It definitely needs action.

"I'm not blaming the county council for this. They've been lumbered with it.

"It's great to see so many partner organisations coming together to try to do something positive about it."

Image copyright Steve Lowe
Image caption Items dumped at the site many years ago are now visible

Berwick's Conservative MP, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, warned of the harmful wider consequences the rubbish could have on the environment.

She said: "The Secretary of State for Defra, Michael Gove, has said he wants 30% of the world's oceans to be plastic-free.

"This is the stuff we can't allow to wash into the sea by a lack of care.

"We've got to tackle this."

Northumberland County Council said: "The buried materials being uncovered through coastal erosion relate to the past use of the site for illegal dumping and cable burning.

"We are investigating this issue to try and identify a viable and cost-effective solution to the problems currently being caused by the past activities undertaken at the site.

"In the meantime we will continue to monitor the site and carry out regular beach cleans."

Its countryside and green spaces manager, Mike Jeffrey, recently admitted high costs meant the likelihood of the materials being removed were "very, very slim".

The Environment Agency said it was offering support to the council.

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