Newstead shortlisted for having cleanest air

Newstead Colliery
Newstead Colliery

The former mining village of Newstead has been short-listed by as being one of the best places to live in the UK for clean air.

The village was built in the late 19th century to provide housing for Newstead Colliery but after the pit closed in 1987, it now boasts some of the cleanest air in the UK, according to a report by the Sunday Times.

The paper used statistics from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, of which places had the lowest levels of the pollutant nitrogen dioxide in 2012.

Local activists have welcomed the ranking.

There used to be log-burning fires and coal burners

Robert Crowder, chief executive of Rural Community Action Nottinghamshire, said: “It was a bit of a surprise when I first heard because I used to be the environmental health officer for this area and we used to be up and down here with log burning fires and coal burners from the colliery.

“Having said that, when you look around here and you look at the number of trees, the woodland and the fact that we have a railway and no main road through the village, it probably starts to make sense.

“People don’t always think highly of Newstead, which is a shame as it’s a great place to live, but to actually be told that you’ve got some of the cleanest air in the area is fantastic news; I think it just means there’s so much more to Newstead than people have always thought.”


Video: Robert Crowder gives his thoughts on the shortlisting

The Parish council is working hard trying to preserve nature in and around Newstead in order to keep the village as clean as it is.

Parish councillor Philip Burnham said: “There’s a meadow which we’re just on the point of getting local nature reserve status on courtesy of a grant worth £3,500 so a lot of work has been done on it.

“This along with the woodland and country park will keep the village as a village and I’m very keen that nature is preserved as it’s one of the best areas in the county for wildlife.”

Newstead is close to Newstead Abbey Country Park and parts of Sherwood Forest.

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