Bay tunnel survey sheds light on 300 million year history

Engineering firm Fugro has been drilling boreholes in Morecambe Bay as part of information gathering for the project.
Engineering firm Fugro has been drilling boreholes in Morecambe Bay as part of information gathering for the project.
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Samples dating back 300 million years are being analysed following survey work as part of investigations to build an electricity tunnel under Morecambe Bay.

The surveys were carried by National Grid’s North West Coast Connections Project and the findings will give a new insight into the geological make-up of the bay through the ages.

Engineering firm Fugro has been drilling boreholes in Morecambe Bay as part of information gathering for the project.

Engineering firm Fugro has been drilling boreholes in Morecambe Bay as part of information gathering for the project.

Over the past two months, engineering firm Fugro has been drilling boreholes in Morecambe Bay as part of information gathering for the project.

The results have given an insight into the conditions which make the bay hospitable to wildlife, showing how habitats renew to allow small crustaceans to survive.

They have also produced layers from different eras – ranging from the last Ice Age to as far backas 300 million years ago.

These were the first major surveys carried out in Morecambe Bay since 1968 and the first to ever be carried out in this area of the bay.

Some of the samples have been sent for microscopic analysis and carbon dating and National Grid has offered to share the samples and information with the British Geological Survey.

Robert Powell, National Grid project manager, said: “As well as providing valuable analysis for theNWCC project, these surveys have given us the opportunity to uncover fascinating information about Morecambe Bay.

“We’re also delighted to be able to share our findings with the British Geological Survey. We hope that they provide an interesting and valuable insight into the bay.”

The surveys were carried out to help determine the route of a proposed tunnel to carry electricity

cables under Morecambe Bay as part of the North West Coast Connections project.

The project is being carried out to connect the proposed nuclear power station at Moorside, West Cumbria, to the electricity network.

Details of the latest proposals will be made publicly available throughout a consultation later this year.

The proposals National Grid will be consulting on will provide details on where and how to build a new connection going:

north from Moorside to a point on the existing network at Harker, near Carlisle; and

south from Moorside across the Barrow Peninsula, through a tunnel which goes under Morecambe Bay and surfaces at an existing substation in Middleton, near Heysham, where it can connect into the existing network.

In advance of this people wishing to receive information about the consultation and the proposed

connection design are encouraged to register their details on the North West Coast Connections

project website: www.northwestcoastconnections.com.

People can also register for text alerts by texting ‘NWCC’ to 80800 to receive notification when information about the project becomes available.

For any other enquiries, please contact the project team direct using any of the following methods:

Freephone: 0800 876 6990; Email: nationalgrid@northwestcoastconnections.com; Freepost: Freepost NG NWCC.