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Markham Vale North, Derbyshire - light case study


Markham Vale North covers approximately 88 hectares the majority of which was the site of the former Seymour Colliery and coal stocking grounds. Markham Vale North is part of the 365 hectare Markham Vale reclamation and regeneration scheme located in the north east of the county of Derbyshire.

The cessation of coal mining in the locality in the mid to late 1990’s prompted Derbyshire County Council to undertake the regeneration of a number of interconnected former colliery sites to provide employment, remove dereliction and deliver environmental improvements. The reclamation of Markham Vale North commenced at the end of 2014 and the earthworks were completed in July 2016, landscape planting, fencing etc. was undertaken over the following two years.

The reclamation works involved the formation of four large industrial plots the last of which is due to be developed in 2020, a new road and large scale ecological enhancements including the decanalisation of an existing watercourse.

The majority of the site had lost its connectivity with the natural drainage system, in particular Hawke Brook that bisects the site from east to west. Hawke Brook had been canalised through the site by the previous industry and at the time the site was bought by Derbyshire County Council the brook languished in a straight channel, approximately three metres wide and three metres deep that was overshadowed by dense tree and shrub growth. The combination of the deep narrow channel and overshadowing trees and shrubs meant that there was little opportunity for aquatic and riparian species to flourish, invertebrates were practically absent and so were the species that depended on them. There was also a lack of standing open water on site with the exception of a pair of small settlement ponds that provided rudimentary treatment for surface water leaving the site into Hawke Brook.

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