Teesside Steelworks at South Gare
Over the past 10 months or so I've been working with a new company, based in both the UK and Ireland, who work with large companies to reduce the amount of waste heading to landfill and in so doing provide a range of alternative fuels for power stations or production plants as well as providing reusable materials for recycling plants.
Part of the project has involved getting photos and videos (for a promotional film they're producing) of some of the North East's industrial sites.
So on Tuesday evening I took a trip up to South Gare, just north of Redcar. It's an odd place. A kind of barren outpost, jutting out into the North Sea. On one side there's a view out to sea and down the coast to Redcar. And on the other, a view across the Tees Estuary, over a little harbour protecting a fleet of small boats from the ferocity of the North Sea. The green Fishermans' Huts are a bit of a local landmark.
But no matter what direction you look in, the impact of the area's industry is obvious. As I drove down the road to the end of the breakwater, I passed the Steelworks. A massive operation which has been producing steel for over 100 years. Like something out of Lord of the Rings, its huge furnace glowing red and billows of steam and smoke venting from numerous chimneys.
Despite the size of the plant, and the number of other energy, manufacturing and chemical plants dotted around on this stretch of coastline, it was surprisingly quiet and peaceful; the long grass, mudflats, sand dunes a perfect home for a wide variety of birds. If you happen to be near Redcar with a few minutes to kill, it's well worth a visit.
Here are a couple of photos I took, with more available on Flickr:
And here's the website that a few of these shots are use on: