Assessing the risks to development from shallow coal workings is a vital part of the geoscience team’s site assessment within coalfield areas. On 15 May, 15 staff members from the Derby, Helsby and Manchester, UK, offices set off underground. The group followed the workings in coal seams, observed faulting within the coal sequence and areas of roof collapse (from a distance!), which helped them to develop their understanding of how coal was worked underground. The tour lasted a little longer than planned, no doubt because of the enthusiasm of the retired miners who guided them, and the group’s interest in shallow coal workings.
A welcome picnic outside in the warm sunshine followed. The group also enjoyed a presentation that focused on the role of the Coal Authority and coal mining risk assessments, followed by a case study of Harworth Estate’s Logistics North Development site and Waverley development.
More trips are planned to extend the benefits of seeing shallow underground workings so that geosciences staff can enhance their appreciation of the risks shallow workings pose during the tendering, fieldwork and assessments phases of their projects.