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DURHAM CELEBRATES 50 YEARS OF LANDSCAPING

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The Northern Echo (24 July, p12) carried a report on Durham CC's work in transforming former industrial wastelands ...
The Northern Echo (24 July, p12) carried a report on Durham CC's work in transforming former industrial wastelands into award-winning views.

It is 50 years since the authority employed its first landscape architect. Richard Atkinson, who arrived in 1949, is said to have helped laid the foundations for a national approach to landscaping.

Long after the closure of the county's coal mines, they still continue to pose one of the biggest environmental problems - the risk of minewater pollution has to be monitored constantly.

Tony Smith, Durham's countryside and environment manager, said: 'From a blighted and ugly landscape, dependent on heavy industry to sustain its workforce, it has been transformed into an economically diverse and buoyant county, now essentially rural in character.

'While we are not recognised as a leader in this field, the job is not yet complete. But those who have worked in our landscape section should be proud of the tradition which they have helped to create and the transformation that has been wrought.'
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