© PA
400 metre long naked "Green Goddess", which was designed by artist Charles Jencks, and will be carved into the Northumberland landscape.
A 400-yard naked "Green Goddess" is to be carved into the Northumberland landscape, under a new plan revealed by a mining company.

Dubbed the "Goddess of the North", Northumberlandia will be made from two million tonnes of earth dug out from an open cast mine in Cramlington, and tower 112ft into the northern sky.

The Goddess, designed by artist Charles Jencks, will recline over the Shotton open-cast mine and form the center piece of a new public park at the site.

The open-cast mine, which began coaling earlier this year, will produce around 3.4 million tonnes of coal, two million tonnes of shale and 750,000 tonnes of fire clay during its eight-year lifetime.

The entire development is estimated to cost around £2.5 million, and work will begin on the sculpture next year.

Plans for the sculpture, which will be visible from the A1, were originally blocked by Northumberland County Council 2006 after 2,500 people objected to the proposals.

But after a successful appeal to the Government by the Durham based The Banks Group, which runs the mine, the Goddess will now be able to go ahead.

Northumberlandia represents an "attempt to provide a tangible, early and permanent benefit for south-east Northumberland", said The Banks Group.

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at the firm, said: "Our duel aims with Northumberlandia were to create an outstanding artistic landmark which stands alongside the region's other main tourist attractions and to provide high quality leisure facilities for the local community, and we believe this final design will succeed on both counts."

"Northumberlandia has already garnered interest and responses from people right around the world, and we're very excited to now be unveiling the project's final form.

"It will take around 20 minutes just to walk all the way around her, and the design has been enhanced with more paths to allow visitors to the park to easily ascend the figure.

"As well as the artwork itself, the surrounding land form park will offer important nature conservation and public health benefits, giving both local people and visitors an ideal place to exercise, picnic and enjoy themselves."

"This artwork could not exist without the adjacent mining operation, and the sculpture will be part of the long-term local legacy that we always wanted the Shotton scheme to leave."

Bob Downer, chief executive at the Blagdon Estate, which owns the land earmarked for the sculpture said the project was "bold and exciting".

"Northumberlandia is a unique opportunity which will provide an exciting location for many future generations to come," he said.

Northumberland County Council was unable to comment, but county councillor Wayne Daley told the BBC the Goddess was "ridiculous".

"If we wanted something like this why didn't we just ask Jordan to open a theme park," he said.

"It really is ridiculous to think that something like a naked woman, who is only there as a result of all of the slag and the coal from the mine, is a good way of attracting people to Cramlington."