Our clients’ plans can change suddenly. Headland understand that and has the resources to respond quickly, scaling up or down as required.
Brenkley Lane Surface Mine is one of the largest surface coal mines in the UK, situated near Newcastle. Working on behalf of Banks Mining, Headland’s excavations, undertaken between August and October 2013, revealed an extensive Iron Age settlement centred on four roundhouses within a double rectangular enclosure.
The project required excellent communication and collaboration with the client and their teams. The last-minute discovery of rare breeding birds delayed the start date of the topsoil strip for several months. An unexpected delay such as this could have had devastating consequences on the subsequent works on the site. Headland is equipped with the resources that allowed redeployment of staff, with the flexibility that when the ‘all clear’ came for work to recommence, we were able to remobilise within one week and start the 5.2 ha topsoil strip. This was particularly important as just one more week’s delay could have triggered a new ecological survey and delayed the start date for several months.
Our staff are experienced in working in environments which require adherence to the strictest Environmental, Ecological as well as Health and Safety rules. An active surface coal mine provides some special challenges, but by working closely with Banks Mining and our own Health and Safety advisors we were able to ensure the excavations were carried out safely and did not interfere with the operational workings of the mine. Working to a strict deadline, our team completed the excavation with minimal impact on the mining operations and to the satisfaction of both the local authority and the client.
The results of the excavation added to the growing corpus of Iron Age sites around Newcastle suggesting a dynamic Iron Age landscape of interrelated settlements. The team has just begun post-excavation analysis on the project, with a view to submitting the completed publication report to an archaeological journal in 2015.