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Local beauty treated to a facelift

MACCAFERRI has supplied its rock fall netting to preserve a unique rock exposure on the North Tyneside coastline.

The cliffs, above Brown's Bay promenade near Whitley Bay, are up to 10m high and are made up of Carboniferous Coal Measures.

Sandstone beds within these cyclic strata show good examples of cross bedding at the promenade level and have been designated a geological site of special scientific interest.

This means English Nature's consent is required before construction can begin on any proposed schemes.

A major rock fall, caused by natural weathering, led North Tyneside Council had to close the promenade until the outcrops could be stabilised and made safe for the public.

Consulting engineer for the project, Scott Doherty, developed a solution with the North Tyneside Council and English Nature. The works required a combination of scaling, rock bolting, buttressing and rock meshing works.

Installation was carried out by Staffordshirebased geotechnical and rope access contractor Total Access. The rock fall netting has the same characteristics as that used for Maccaferri's wellestablished box gabions, comprising a double twisted, hexagonal mesh of PVC and Galfan-coated steel wire strong enough to withstand the force of falling rocks.

The material's neutral colour means the netting does not stand out against the cliff face and does not detract from the beauty of the slopes.

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