Richer authorities make bigger impact

The neighbouring Castle Morpeth and Wansbeck authorities in Northumberland represent the North-East's footprint extremes.

The neighbouring Castle Morpeth and Wansbeck authorities in Northumberland represent the North-East's footprint extremes.

In a league table of 23 local authorities, Castle Morpeth is bottom, with the biggest ecological footprint, and Wansbeck is top with the smallest.

The Castle Morpeth footprint is biggest partly because more of its better-off residents live in detached homes, families have more than one car and they take more flying holidays.

In Wansbeck, a high percentage of residents are older, live in flats, have moderate incomes and most own one car.

The better off an area, the bigger the footprint - or resources consumed - is likely to result.

The table, with the smallest footprint areas at the top, is: 1. Wansbeck, 2. Easington, 3. Hartlepool, 4. Wear Valley, 5. Derwentside, 6. Sedgefield, 7. Middesbrough, 8. South Tyneside, 9. Sunderland, 10. Gateshead, 11. Redcar and Cleveland, 12. Stockton, 13. Blyth Valley, 14. Darlington, 15. Chester-le-Street, 16. Alnwick, 17. Berwick, 18. Teesdale, 19. North Tyneside, 20. Durham, 21. Newcastle, 22. Tynedale, 23. Castle Morpeth.

Paul Mosley, WWF footprint project manager, says: "The last thing we want is an area where we have a low footprint but also issues of poverty. The key challenge is to ensure areas can regenerate and develop in a sustainable way."

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