Welcome to the Nature After Minerals (NAM) website - a resource for everyone with an interest in quarry restoration and minerals planning for biodiversity gain.

Realising the potential

Appropriate and sustainable minerals restoration represents potentially the biggest terrestrial habitat expansion opportunity across large swathes of land in the UK.

In England alone there are over 2,000 quarries, covering 64,000 hectares, that have planning requirements to restore them after quarrying has been completed.

RSPB Middleton Lakes - by Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
RSPB Middleton Lakes - by Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
British Wildlife
British Wildlife

Delivering for biodiversity

Building on this potential, the minerals industry, through its restoration work, is uniquely placed to help deliver against national and international biodiversity targets to directly help safeguard the future of all 960 priority species requiring immediate action and protection within UK government conservation plans.

Planning for the future

A long-term, strategic minerals planning approach can help deliver biodiversity gain on a landscape scale, helping to connect and buffer sites of ecological importance and re-connect local communities with the natural environmental, with all the knock-on benefits to health and well-being that that entails.

Children using magnifying glass - by Phil Barnes (rspb-images.com)
Children using magnifying glass - by Phil Barnes (rspb-images.com)
RSPB Officer talking to workmen - by Ben Hall (rspb-images.com)
RSPB Officer talking to workmen - by Ben Hall (rspb-images.com)

Restoration work

Biodiversity-led restoration is on the increase, helping to create bigger nature areas, buffer existing habitat and create stepping stone access for species to move across the landscape.  Since 2010, NAM has provided over 3,600 ha worth of priority habitat restoration advice to minerals restoration stakeholders.

State of Nature Report

The 2019 State of Nature report is a healthcheck on how the UK’s wildlife is faring. It is put together using wildlife data from a group of 50 conservation organisations. Of the 8,418 species assessed, 15% are now at risk of extinction.

Biodiversity-led minerals restorations can help counter such declines – for example, 13% of endangered bittern nest in UK restored quarries.

The 2019 State of Nature report name-checks the Nature After Minerals programme as an example of positive partnership working creating much-needed habitat and says that

"Since 2010, the Nature After Minerals partnership has created 2,000ha of wetland through the restoration of minerals sites across the UK".

The report has a case study (page 29) entitled ‘Creating new wetlands on mineral extraction sites’ which sets out the progress made with mineral restoration work including:

  • Over 8,000ha of new habitat (including 2,000ha of wetland) created and managed since 2010.
  • With specialised ecological advice, a range of habitat features can be created to benefit rare species.
  • 13% of all the UK’s breeding Bitterns now nest in restored mineral sites.
  • When training is delivered with and for industry partners, best practice can be shared.

Ecosystem Services

Through close collaborative working, biodiversity-led minerals restoration can also provide opportunities for local communities to re-connect with nature, helping to regenerate local economies and provide ecosystem services benefits along the way.

Group in safety clothing - by Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
Group in safety clothing - by Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

Sharing Best Practise

By working together in partnership and sharing best-practice in biodiversity-led minerals restoration, great things can be achieved for nature and people.

Nature After Minerals would be interested to hear of any new case study examples of minerals restoration for a nature conservation end-use. Please feel free to contact us with any details which you may wish to share.