Situated to the north west of the county, the AAP of Mid Durham stretches from Brandon in the south east, to Castleside in the north west. The AAP is bordered by Northumberland to the north and by the other AAPs of Chester-le-Street & District, Derwent Valley, 3 Towns Partnership, Durham, Spennymoor, Stanley and Weardale.
The Mid Durham AAP is predominantly ‘rural’ in nature with a population of nearly 34,500 . Covering an area of over 22,200 hectares (86.1 sq. miles), the AAP has a population density of 1.6 (people/hectare), which is lower than that of the county (2.3).
It includes the villages of Lanchester, Brandon, Castleside, Ushaw Moor, Esh Winning and New Brancepeth, along with the minor settlements of Cornsay, Quebec, Satley, West Butsfield, Burnhope, Esh and many other tiny settlements. The area is mainly rural but shares a mix of agricultural and former mining heritage, many of the villages are steeped in interesting history.
Brandon is the largest settlement with a population of around 6,000 (2015 ONS estimates). Following the creation of the coal mines towards the end of the 19th century, the important villages of Langley Park, Brandon, Esh Winning, Ushaw Moor and Burnhope were established. Since the closure of the mines, many of the villages have suffered economic decline although some have also benefited from successful regeneration and renewal initiatives.