mobile-menu mobile-menu-arrow Menu
Privacy Notice Photo Competition Rules Adopt a Stream Consultancy Shop Terms and Conditions River Levels Catchment Map Data, Evidence and Research Education and Training River Restoration Land Management and Farming Governance Support Us Our Team News Volunteer Donate Fishing The River My Account Checkout Basket Shop Purpose Our Work Who to contact About Home
Alex Clark mug 2019 Charity Calendar Hesleyside Ridings Beat Hesleyside Eals Beat Trail camera sponsorship Mink monitoring raft sponsorship RiverFly training sponsorship Japanese knotweed treatment training sponsorship Vehicle lease contribution sponsorship Flood monitoring kit sponsorship Volunteer Coordinator to lead 20 tasks sponsorship Volunteer Coordinator to lead 10 tasks sponsorship Mayfly in the Classroom sponsorship Salmon in the Classroom sponsorship Education session in a school sponsorship School trip to a local stream sponsorship Water quality monitoring kit sponsorship Haughton Castle Chesters trout Balderhead Reservoir Cow Green Reservoir Rowlands Gill Lintzford Rochester Stobbs Farm Cottonshopeburn Whitchester Bardon Mill Lambley Melkridge Alston – upper Alston – lower Lewisburn Kielder Burn Devils Water – Swallowship Chesters Trout Fishing Haughton Castle Coarse fishing Erring Burn – Chollerton Farm Erring Burn – Beaumont House Farm Tyne Rivers Trust Selection box of Flies
TYNE RIVERS TRUST TACKLE OBSTRUCTIONS FOR SMALLER FISH Conservation Angling for Salmon on the Tyne (CAST) Green flood scheme scoops sustainability award Highest recorded upstream counts for May! Volunteer profile: John PUPILS SALMON SUCCESS How did the sheep cross the river? CHARITY CALENDAR CLICKS INTO ACTION FOR FOURTH YEAR River report – 25 April 2019 Mabey Hire keeps Fish Pass project on track Tyne river report 2nd April 2019 Rivers Trust helps farmers to deliver environmentally friendly changes Tyne river report #GBSpringClean 2019 – we’re coming to South Shields! Pupils will watch salmon hatch in reel time Derwent fish populations set to improve An overview of floodplain gravel resource exploitation in the Tyne catchment We’re looking for Trustees to strengthen our board Salmon populations may adapt their eggs to survive in degraded rivers Our position on Anick Haughs gravel quarrying Making culverts more fish-friendly Moving muck to improve the River Don Volunteers autumn update Charity calendar on sale Surfers Against Sewage River Clean up at Monkton Burn FROM WASTE TO WHEAT FISH PASS AT SHOTLEY GROVE SET TO IMPROVE FISH POPULATIONS A few words from our Fisheries Manager, Aidan Pollard – July 2018 Hurrah for our volunteers! Helping the water vole return to Kielder HOW TO MEASURE FLOW IN YOUR LOCAL BURN SCHOOLCHILDREN SHOW SPADES OF ENTHUSIASM FOR ENVIRONMENT Team members qualify as River Habitat surveyors CHARITY CALENDAR CLICKS INTO ACTION FOR THIRD YEAR NEW FUND WILL HELP FARMERS TO IMPROVE LOCAL RIVERS WINNING IMAGE ILLUMINATES THE TYNE Volunteer update Farming fund exceeds 50 members FUNDING SEES SCHOOLCHILDREN SET TO GET THEIR FEET WET HALTWHISTLE BURN IMPROVES ITS FLOW RESPONSE TO EA CONSULTATION : Managing salmon fisheries in England and on the Border Esk National Lottery funding brings Resilience to Tyne Rivers Trust Volunteers tackle Tyne Invasives Volunteer Newsletter 15th August Volunteer Newsletter 28th July 2017 Wind in the Willows inspiration for Tyne photo competition Tyne Rivers Trust joins forces with Flood Expo Volunteers Newsletter 19th July 2017 Volunteer Newsletter 4th July Volunteer Newsletter 30th June Volunteer Newsletter 27th June Ratty Restored to Kielder Restoring Ratty Video on the captive breeding process Volunteers Newsletter 14th June 2017 Volunteers Newsletter 7th June 2017 Volunteers Newsletter 30th May Volunteers Newsletter 23rd May Volunteer Newsletter 15th May 2017 Spring/ Summer 2017 Newsletter Trust calls for river photos Volunteer Newsletter 8 May 2017 Volunteer Newsletter 2 May 2017 Spring/Summer 2016 Newsletter Autumn/Winter 2016 Newsletter Tyne Rivers Trust awarded fund to work with farmers Trust puts Salmon in Tyne Valley’s Classrooms

An overview of floodplain gravel resource exploitation in the Tyne catchment

Tyne Rivers Trust > About > News > General News > An overview of floodplain gravel resource exploitation in the Tyne catchment

An overview of floodplain gravel resource exploitation in the Tyne catchment

1. Geological context
Northern England was heavily glaciated until 10,000 years ago. More than 10m of ice covered the landscape, with more conventional ‘glacier’ flows of ice following the pre-ordained valleys of the Ipswichian Interglacial that preceded the last phase of our glacial history.
We are, appropriately, currently concerned with glacial melting as an indicator of climate change and images of ice melting are widespread. However, there is little attention to how powerful meltwater streams deliver glacially-eroded cobbles, gravels, sands and ‘rock flour (see below) downstream – a prominent feature of the evolution of the Tyne valley. The Tyne has alternating narrow ‘gorge’ sections and wider floodplains where the ice spread and where ice plugs in the gorges dammed up impressive lakes trapping fine clays and creating a diverse post-glacial geology in vertical section, perhaps not always appreciated by gravel resource assessments and planning exploitations lacking geotechnical assessments.
The Tyne deposits are not just gravel of commercial size. Exploitation involves sensitive site management to grade the material for the valuable sizes and to manage the ‘waste’, especially finer materials.

2. History of Tyne gravel exploitation and other Northumberland contexts

The river gravel has always been seen as a resource, first locally for farm roads and, after WW2, as a regional resource for post-war building reconstruction. Against all better judgement, licences were granted to extract millions of tonnes of river-bed material (David Archer: ‘Tyne and Tide’, 2003), creating widespread channel change within and beyond the quarried reaches and possibly contributing to the massive decline in the Tyne salmon fishery. Pollution was identified in the lower reaches but gravel extraction was the major damage to habitats in the upper reaches.

After in-river gravel mining was banned in the early 1960’s, attention in Northumberland moved to the glacio-fluvial floodplain deposits (delivered by big rivers sourced by ice melting). The Caistron site on the Coquet upstream of Morpeth, whilst not Tyne, has plenty of evidence to offer in terms of risk/site/operations management for any possible extraction sites on the Tyne. Additionally, we are seeking site monitoring data from the Haughton Strother site to improve our evidence base.

3. The vital roles of site management, flood risk assessment, mitigation and restoration

‘Gravel’ remains a significant resource in a region moving from its earlier dependence on hard-rock resources such as coal, lead, ironstone etc. However, like ‘breakfast cereal’ it has many different sizes and meanings!

TRT will judge planning applications for gravel extraction on the basis of a full geotechnical assessment of the underground resource (all mining demands this), a planned and timed extraction and restoration strategy and, above all, a site management statement stressing:

• Management of flood ingress/egress for the site on a risk-based assessment: we will liaise with EA on the formal flood assessment, including measures for downstream flood protection;

• Impact assessments for downstream flood risk: given a probabilistic survey by EA, including ‘Desmond’ scale impacts and post-flood repair (see picture of Desmond damage to floodplain at Widehaugh below);

• Fine sediment management on-site: TRT’s experience with other permitted developments is that this element, crucial to fisheries health, is neglected as ‘a bit of colour down the river’. A disaster of silt pollution on the Tyne or South Tyne might set back the ecological recovery of the river system by decades.

Tyne River Catchment Services

A specialist river management consultancy

More Information