In 2005, recognising the potential for mineral site restoration to achieve significant biodiversity gains on a landscape scale, the RSPB undertook a research project to determine exactly what the contribution of mineral site restoration could be to achieving the UK BAP targets.

The report, NATURE AFTER MINERALS: how mineral site restoration can benefit people and wildlife, was subsequently published in November 2006, highlighting that 9 out of 11 key UKBAP habitat targets could be achieved by appropriately-restored mineral sites alone. However, this potential was not being met due to certain barriers.

Understanding the need to overcome these barriers, the RSPB and Natural England developed the Nature After Minerals (NAM) programme in 2007, with full support and backing from the two industry representatives: the Mineral Products Association (formerly the Quarry Products Association) and the British Aggregates Association.

Since then, Nature After Minerals has worked with all stakeholders – operators, minerals planners, environmental NGOs, statutory bodies, consultants, local authorities and local communities – to better understand, promote and share best-practice in minerals restoration for a nature conservation end-use, to benefit people and wildlife in line with national and international biodiversity targets.

RESTORE project

NAM was the lead partner in the RESTORE project - Restoring mineral sites for biodiversity, people and the economy across north-west Europe. Between 2012 and 2015, RESTORE worked to address the challenge of environmental degradation across north-west Europe by developing a framework for the restoration of minerals sites (quarries) to provide benefits for biodiversity, habitats and local people. It was co-financed by the EU’s European Regional Development Fund through the INTERREG IVB NWE Programme.