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When it rains it falls... wet weather causes ground instability across UK

The recent severe weather has the UK on course for what could be the wettest June on record. Torrential and persistent rain has been falling across the British Isles, with some villages experiencing 73mm of rainfall in a 28-hour period. This has resulted in The Environment Agency issuing 25 flood warnings…

The Impact of Coal Mining

Explore the legacy the UK's once great coal mining industry has left on property and land in Terrafirma's new Infographic. With almost a third of all buildings in the UK underlain by coal mines, over 9000 recorded hazards and a new mining subsidence claim made every week of the year…

Introducing: The Ground Report

Terrafirma, an expert provider of environmental information and data intelligence, today launched the Ground Report, a risk and liabilities report designed to enable property professionals to better identify, manage and resolve ground and environmental hazards…

Terrafirma CEO on Rip Off Britain: Live

Terrafirma CEO Discusses Lender Policy on Mine Entries.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09bcsrc

Earlier today, Terrafirma's CEO and Founder, Tom Backhouse featured on the new series of the Rip Off Britain: Live Series on BBC One. Tom was invited on to offer advice to a frustrated home-owner who has fallen victim to her property being located close to an historical coal mine shaft, making it impossible to sell.

The property has seen its market value drop by £61,000 and despite being up for sale multiple times, it remained unsold earlier this year at a property auction in the West Midlands. 

Collapse/Sinkhole in Brow Gate, Baildon

On September 25th, 2017, a large sinkhole appeared on the pavement at a pedestrian crossing in Brow Gate, Baildon, causing traffic disruption indefinitely.  According to a pedestrian, the sinkhole opened within a time frame of a few minutes. Gas engineers from Northern Gas Networks are assessing the damage.

The local geological conditions are favourable for subsidence; superficial till (composed of clay) deposits shrink under prolonged dry conditions and 19th Century, unrecorded utilities infrastructure may be the cause of the collapse. 

Neath Sinkhole Saga

A sinkhole has been reported to have occurred within part of Beechwood Avenue, Cimla in South Wales. This is the second reported sinkhole in the neighbourhood after another ground collapse, later identified to be a mine shaft, opened up in January of 2016. The sinkhole is now being investigated to identify whether it is associated with the extensive shallow coal mining known to have occurred in the area during the 18th and 19th Centuries.

Sinkhole on Edge Lane, Liverpool

On 29th June 2017, a 6 metre wide and 3 metre deep sinkhole opened in the middle of a busy Liverpool commuter route to the M62, Edge Lane, closing it for several weeks. United Utilities were called to the scene to assess the damage and discovered the sewer 6 metres down was blocked. The area rests upon superficial till rich with clays which are prone to subsidence which in turn can damage subsurface utilities. 

Chalk Mine Collapse at Field Road, Reading, Berkshire

The collapse of a chalk mine in west Reading forced the immediate evacuation of dozens of residents. These residents then suffered for years due to the extensive and drawn out remediation of the affected area, but eventually had their patience rewarded after the works finished and the area declared safe once again.

Sinkhole caused by collapsed Chalk Mine at Pinner Wood School, Harrow, Greater London

A large sinkhole opened in the car park of Pinner Wood School, Harrow, forcing its immediate temporary closure. Geotechnical surveys and site investigations have been commissioned to determine the cause of the collapse and assess the stability of the land.

Most recent of long legacy of Sinkholes appears in Ripon

On the 9th November 2016 a naturally occurring sinkhole opened up on Magdalens Road near the River Ure in west Ripon. The collapse, reaching depths of 9m, measured 10m x 20m and extended into the back gardens of three households.  The sewage system connecting the residencies collapsed and a safety parameter was set up resulting in the evacuation of 12 homes. On the 11th November BGS undertook investigation works concluding that the site remained at risk of further slippage. Monitoring continued, especially of the surface tension fractures which when recorded, had extended to twice the distance of the collapses 10m surface footprint. The BGS response team, after completing data collection, liaised with Harrogate Borough Council, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, and utility services in regards to ground stability. Currently, the team then returned to the BGS to analyse the field data. Following this, the Harrogate Borough Council officers met with representatives of North Yorkshire County Council highways department, Yorkshire Water and Northern Powergrid. As of the 14th of November all residents remained displaced, with utility companies working towards making plans for temporary solutions.

Sinkhole at Towy View Park, Carmarthen, Wales

Sinkhole at Towy View Park, Carmarthen, Wales

On 28th June 2016, a 10 metre by 10 metre sinkhole consumed gardens just metres behind homes on Towy View Park, Carmarthen, Wales. The sinkhole appeared early in the morning and almost destroyed a storage shed that was left precariously close to the edge. 

Sinkhole at New Build Development, Plumstead, London

On the 2nd May 2016 a sinkhole believed to be 60ft deep and 16ft wide opened up on the doorstep of one of Skillcrown Homes new developments within Brickfield Cottages, Plumstead. The result of which led to the establishment of a 25m hazard zone and evacuation of 50 residents by the combined effort of the emergency services and Hexagon Housing, all of which were provided with assistance at a council run rest centre and overnight accommodation by the housing association. Following this, on the 3rd May evacuated residents were reportedly staying with families or in hotels whilst structural engineers looked to secure the site. The result of which, 30 households were returned to normality, whilst 10 awaited contact by Hexagon Housing. The remediation efforts, whether planned, completed or on-going are unknown.  

Sinkhole in Plantation Gardens, Norwich

On 9th April 2016, a 20-foot-deep sinkhole appeared at Norwich’s Plantation Garden, causing subsidence cracks to the neighbouring hotel on Earlham Road. This is a stone’s throw away from the 1988 sinkhole which swallowed a double-decker bus. The Plantation Garden is itself an old chalk quarry, with multiple mining tunnels leading off it. It is the collapse of a mining tunnel that is thought to have caused this sinkhole.

Sinkhole in Lawrence Square, Gravesend, Kent

In early 2015 at Lawrance Square, Northfleet, Gravesend, Kent – an extended period of subsidence culminating with the appearance of a sinkhole has forced several shops to close and evacuation of 7 sets of council tenants for fears of further subsidence.
 

Sinkhole makes global news in St Albans, Hertfordshire

On 1st October, 2015, a giant sinkhole opened up in Fontmell Close, St Albans forcing families to evacuate their homes and cutting off utilities to over 50 properties.