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Urban Mining: dispelling the myths

Urban Mining: dispelling the myths
Urban mining, is it a myth or reality?

Whilst mining and extraction, in its various forms, has been carried out in every county in the UK, it is a popular misconception that the legacy of mining does not affect urban areas and that where the built environment has been present for decades that there are simply, “No sign of Mines!”.

Here Paul Raglan, Managing Director of Mining Searches UK* dispels this myth.

Just delving back to March 2017 we are reminded just how devastating it can be when these former mining hazards manifest themselves at the surface. At Pinner Wood School in Harrow, North West London, ancient chalk workings were discovered following a subsidence event in the school car park. The workings are believed to date back to 1800. The school was closed for a number of months and the pupils needed to be re-located to other nearby schools. By April 2017 local newspapers reported that the school had been subsequently burgled adding further to the social and financial implications of this emergence of the mining hazard. Geotechnical engineers carried out a survey beneath the school grounds and revealed previously unrecorded chalk workings to a depth of around 20 metres below the surface. Extensive remedial works were carried out in order for the school to safely re-open in January 2018.

Here at Groundsure/Mining Searches UK our archive of historical mining activity provides us with evidence that several urban areas, like Pinner, have formerly been affected by the legacy of mining issues. Our expert consultants and geologists are well placed to advise on the risks for those looking to purchase property or land for the purposes of redevelopment.

Visit to find out more about the mining reports that we offer.

*In January 2020 Groundsure acquired Mining Searches UK and the joint business offers unparalleled insight into environmental and mining risk.

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Jun 2, 2020

Paul Raglan