AboutThe sight and sound of skylarks rising above the short Magnesian Limestone grassland is very noticeable in this area. The grass is kept purposely short to encourage them.
Blue House Gill is an important area due to its sheltered aspect. Eight species of orchid have been found here.
The sinking of Blackhall Colliery began in 1909 and the pit was one of the most modern in the country at the time. Underground emergency shafts connected Blackhall, Horden and Easington collieries. In 1981 the colliery site was reclaimed and landscaped. There is only a shallow depth of soil over the coal shales and the trees have struggled to survive. Plants from the nearby cliff edges have now spread naturally into the grassed areas enriching them substantially. The beach just south of Blackhall was one
of the main areas for the dumping of colliery spoil.
There is a shortage of wetlands and ponds in the coastal area, due to the drainage of agricultural land in recent years. New ponds were created in 1999, as an extension of the only established area of water along the coast. They are increasing the range of habitats available to local wildlife and are also proving to be a useful learning resource for school children and other groups, who are monitoring the development of the wetland plants and animals.
The rocks at Blackhall are a series of Magnesian Limestone cliffs, caves and stacks. They feature in many legends and tales of smuggling. Rock stacks have occurred at many places along the Durham Coast and have often been given local nicknames related to their shapes such as the ʻElephant Rockʼ. They are coastal features created by the erosion of the sea which eventually isolates them from the cliff.
Route supplied by Durham Heritage Coast.
- Distance: 1-5 Miles
- Grade: Easy
- Route Surface: Off Road
Parking & Transport
- Car parking - At Blackhall Rocks.
- Distance (0-5 Km)
- Grade (Easy)
- Time (1 hour or Less)