Horden was a mining village until the closure of Horden Colliery in 1987. The colliery was sunk in 1900, closing in 1987, and became one of the biggest collieries in the country. Like other parts of the Durham Coast, colliery waste was tipped out to sea and on the beach at Horden. The area has now been reclaimed and the black spoil that blighted the area has been transformed into stunning coastal grasslands.
The sea is slowly cleaning the beaches from decades of mine waste and the cliff faces are now an important habitat for the Northern Brown Argus butterfly.
Funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund has improved access with a series of new footpaths, artwork and interpretation. The paths are linked to the England Coastal Path which passes through Horden, where a large sculpture portraying a Little Tern can be seen near the footpath at Cotsford Field on the cliff face overlooking the North Sea. The Horden Butterfly sculpture and Horden Wheel seating area can be found near Warren House dene. (link to Horden leaflet).
The Coal Authority implemented a passive mine water treatment site comprising a series of reed beds filtering out iron and other chemicals from the rising mine water. The clean water is then discharged into the sea.