While mooching around Engine Lane last week, I noticed that the capped mine shaft that was formerly accessible in the scrub copse near the old level crossing has been fenced off by The Coal Authority. These are the folks responsible for the identification, cataloguing, management and remediation of historic (and in some cases, ongoing) mine workings in the UK.
The enclosure consists of a low, 4 foot post and wire fence with warning notices. it’s more for warning and liability transfer than safety, I’d tenure.
The shaft in question – discussed extensively here before – is mostly considered to be a ventilator for old workings below, which seem short lived in the early part of last century. It’s interesting that this has suddenly been spotted, and I wonder if wither the Riding Stables or a blog reader has alerted them.
Note that although the poster talks of works, there are none at the moment, and any occurring will probably only result in capping, not infilling. Despite the somewhat misguided impressions of one local councillor, the infilling of local mine shafts would be hugely costly, of dubious benefit and possibly very environmentally damaging. Such work is never undertaken speculatively or without solid geotechnical justification.
It’s nice to see the officials are on the case, though. Oh, for a look through their paperwork…