North Gare is tourist asset

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I am writing further to the article about the North Gare potholes (Mail, February 19).

Friends of Teesmouth, Seaton Dunes and Common have been concerned for some time about the state of the Blue Lagoon road.

It has been patched by volunteers on several occasions but it is now beyond the state where this is worth the effort.

It needs a proper civil engineering solution, with drainage pipes under the lowest and worst part of the road to allow water at flood times to flow away.

The application to Sita Trust was declined because the money pot was too small.

Friends of Teesmouth recognises the amenity, recreational, security, safety, emergency access, and economic value of the road.

I have met many users when out litter-picking.

Many locals go after work and at weekends to walk the dog in Teesmouth National Nature Reserve and contiguous local reserves, and enjoy the sea views and shelter in the dunes.

Some come from out of town, from Darlington and Bishop Auckland, for bird watching or dog walking.

They then make use of Seaton’s cafes and shops.

I know RSPB members who come from the Peak District.

My sisters from Buckinghamshire and Gloucestershire enjoy visiting.

This is a tourist asset which is greatly under-valued and under-signposted.

Compare signposting for RSPB at Saltholme from the A19.

The summer flora and butterflies are magnificent.

The value for thousands of migrating and over wintering birds is excellent.

The site has numerous recreational uses.

These include fishing, photography, kite flying, paddling and bathing, picnics and barbecues, kite surfing, kayaking, watching passing ships and dune running.

There is a marked nature trail, and the sea is a European marine site.

It is also a place of solitude and contemplation.

I went there after my father’s funeral.

Occasional travellers come and go and leave a mess, and nefarious drug activities take place in the car park at times.

The greatest problems are litter, dog fouling, bird disturbance by irresponsible dog owners and their dogs, and deliberately setting dune fires.

Quad bikes and horse riding in the dunes can cause occasional damage.

Good access is necessary for emergency services for security and safety of the area.

Friends of Teesmouth has been working with Hartlepool Borough Council parks and countryside officer Deborah Jefferson, senior reserve manager at Natural England Mike Leakey, and the community support officer to tackle these issues.

We would appreciate the concern and energy of councillors and anyone who can locate a pot of gold to pay for repairs as council coffers seem to be empty.

Jill Oberlin-Harris,

Clifton Avenue,

Hartlepool.