Phase 1 Geoenvironmental Desk Study Walkover in Wooler, Northumberland and Distillery Stop Off

We have been working on the edge of the National Park in Northumberland this week completing a site walkover survey for a new residential scheme in Wooler.  The site walkover is a requirement of a planning compliant Phase 1 Geoenvironmental Desk Study report (and YALPAG guidance which most north east LPAs sign up to) and it helps pull all of the environmental and historical info together to establish the sites initial Conceptual Site Model.  The work report is also prepared in accordance with the Environment Agency (EA) protocol Land Contamination Risk Management (LCRM).

We undertake a site walkover survey to gain an overview of current activities which may have contaminated the underlying soils and groundwater.  DBS staff utilise a standard checklist to ensure the visual assessment covers all aspects of the study area, which includes:

  • Visual and olfactory evidence of pollution e.g. spillage, leakage, fly tipping etc.
  • Evidence of site usage/environmental practice.
  • Underground structures, tanks and sumps.
  • Site layout, surface topography and land drainage.
  • Boundary conditions and nature of surrounding area.
  • Adjacent activities.
  • Status and condition of any surviving historic features and any variation to published site history.

Wonderful site with wonderful views across to the Cheviot Hills and we took the opportunity whilst in Wooler for the Phase 1 Geoenvironmental Desk Study work to visit the new distillery, Ad Geffrin.  It is the first distillery in Northumberland for over 200 years and it is well worth a visit, it houses not only a distillery but a museum too, along with a fabulous gift shop and brasserie.  We didn’t have time to do the whisky tour but another day beckons for that.

Some pictures below of the site and the distillery, a welcome change from pictures of plant/machinery and holes in the ground!  More information on the distillery can be gained here – English Whisky Distillery & Northumberland Visitor Attraction (

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