The county has played host to a major multi-agency course aimed at protecting the region’s coastline.

The council facilitated a two day Maritime and Coastguard Agency Beach Supervisor’s Course which trained a number of organisations on how to deal with a major pollution incident such as an oil spill.

The course attracted representatives from local councils, the emergency services and the Environment Agency.
Protecting the natural environment is a key concern in Northumberland which has over 60 miles of the most beautiful coastline in England and boasts a unique landscape containing several Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and historical sites.

Councillor Dave Ledger, Deputy Leader of Northumberland County Council, who also chairs the council’s emergency committee, said: “Northumberland residents and visitors alike praise the beauty and wildlife of our coast and highlight it as one of the reasons they choose to live, work or holiday in the area.

“It’s vital we protect and conserve the habitats and environment from any threat of, or actual, pollution and why courses such as this are critical to developing our capability to respond.

“Northumberland County Council and our Northumbria Local Resilience Forum partner coastal authorities have had Marine Pollution Contingency Plans for several years and it’s important that we continue to maintain and exercise them.

“While we hope that the Marine Pollution Contingency Plan will never be required, events in recent years, such as the grounding of the MV Danio on the Farne Islands, prove that we cannot be complacent and that being prepared for the unexpected is the best insurance to preventing or mitigating the effects of such incidents.”

This course, which included a number of practical sessions on the county’s beaches, ensured agencies are as prepared as possible to deal with any threats to the region’s coastal areas and  the correct and adequate resources are available.

The council also wishes to thank Amble Lifeboat Station for hosting the staff and particpants on the second practical exercise day at Amble Harbour.