A BROTHER and sister business team have reopened a quarry which had stood dormant for almost 40 years.

Newlandside Quarry, near Stanhope, ceased operating in 1983 on the back of the closure of Consett steelworks.

The 168 acre site, which sits on the hillside south of the River Wear, was never restored and remained a blot on the Weardale landscape.

But now siblings Michael McLeod and Carly Whitfield have brought the quarry back into use, with McLeod Construction Materials acquiring a lease for the land.

They hope the move will be a welcome boost for the region’s economy and environment.

Mrs Whitfield said: “The area was left in a bit of a state when it shut back in the 1980s.

“We are operating again and extracting good quality stone which is going all over the North East.

“Hopefully the way we leave the quarry will benefit the area, it will look better and be a lot safer.”

Newlandside Quarry, Stanhope, County Durham

Newlandside Quarry, Stanhope, County Durham

The company has permission to extract up to 180,000 tonnes of stone a year from the carboniferous limestone quarry, which is being used in the construction industry for making concrete, roads and drainage.

Before it started taking stone out of Newlandside, back in June, ecology reports were done and bosses say they are very careful to work with nature in mind.

After stone is taken out, a restoration material is left on the slopes, some of which are 40m high, to aid the natural re-greening of the extraction scars. Some grey areas will be left for birds that nest on the rockface.

The quarry lies on the edge of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and areas of special scientific and conservation interest.

Mrs Whitfield said: “Michael especially is an animal enthusiast and spends a lot of time up at the quarry when nothing is working, observing the wildlife, because he wants to see as much living up there are possible.

“We've got permits to adhere to and we’re really keen to do things right and work closely with Durham County Council to ensure we don’t do anything wrong or upset anyone.”

The operation currently supports ten jobs including for other family members James and Lisa McLeod, Alison Watson and John McLeod through McLeod Construction Materials and McLeod Haulage, which transports stone from the site.

To contact McLeod Construction Materials at Newlandside Quarry call 01388-764845.

Newlandside Quarry, Stanhope, County Durham

Newlandside Quarry, Stanhope, County Durham


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