Parton landslip update

Image of landslip at Parton

The county council and multi-agency partners can confirm (5 August) that the cordon area in Parton, Whitehaven can be reduced, and that the majority of residents can safely return to their properties.

On the evening of Wednesday 28 July, we were notified of a landslip on the bank above St Bridget's C of E School, Parton. Given the risk of further landslips a small number of properties were evacuated and a section of Main Street below the bank was closed. 

A team of Geotechnical Engineers started assessing the bank on Thursday 29 July and a large area of vegetation was cleared using automatic mowers over the weekend to allow for visual investigations. At the same time the engineers installed sophisticated digital monitoring equipment to monitor any movement in the bank.

Visual inspections have concluded that there has been some slippage to the bank but it's not clear as to when this occurred. There is no evidence to show a recent landslip - Engineers believe the 'cracking' that was reported to be a landslip is the 'dying off' of some vegetation as a result of the recent dry weather. The noise that was reported to have been a landslip cannot be accounted for from the evidence gained through site surveys and would appear to have been from another source.

Further monitoring and surveys will continue this week along with ground investigations to determine the bank stability to assess the material content and impact of any water present within the bank. Engineers will also drill bore holes and take soil samples which will help determine whether any remedial works are required to the bank. 

The advice of the Engineers is that until the results of the further survey and monitoring has been completed, the risk remains to the immediate vicinity of the bank. This means that the cordon needs to remain in place for the school, the playground and the two adjacent properties. It is likely that these restrictions will remain in place for several weeks as a minimum. 

Engineers can confirm that the rest of the cordon can now be reduced, enabling all other evacuated residents to safely return. The road closure on Main Street can also be lifted.

Given the school is still within the cordon area, the entire school will be relocated on a temporary basis for the whole of the autumn term at least to provide some consistency for pupils. 

Updates and information will be shared directly with families to confirm the preferred site for the new temporary school. 

School transport will be a key issue and a full plan is being developed to ensure pupils can get to any new site safely and with minimum difficulty. 

Updates will be posted on this web page and on the county council's social media pages:

If you can't find the answer to your questions on this webpage, then you can ring the Cumbria County Council Highways Hotline: 0300 303 2992 Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm or email - titled 'Parton enquiries'.

You can sign up to receive email bulletin updates which are sent on the county council's email distribution system, GovDelivery.

Mental wellbeing

Many people will find that they feel better once there is more information available, but if you're finding it hard to cope with feelings of stress and uncertainty, MindLine Cumbria can help.

You can find information on their website, including details of how to contact them by email, text or webchat or ring them on 0300 561 0000. MindLine Cumbria is open 12pm to 11pm Monday to Friday, and 5pm to 11pm Saturday to Sunday

You can also contact Together All which is free to all Cumbria residents, you just need to enter you postcode to be able to set up an account.