Working with partners, Nature After Minerals is here to offer and share best-practice advice on biodiversity-led minerals restoration.
- Restoration Report
- Open mosaic habitat
- Landscape Scale
- Active Quarries
- Habitat Creation on Active Quarries
Soil is a fundamental natural resource that links the different components of our environment. In addition to food production, soil provides many functions, storing vast quantities of carbon, buffering pollution and supporting many forms of life. Safeguarding soil on mineral sites is a key to achieving sustainable development.
At Langford Lowfields, a 175ha reedbed restoration reserve, Sandinyoureye sand sculptors and RSPB designed and created an artificial sand martin bank that is purpose built to look and function as naturally as possible with sand martin nesting ecology. Partnership project delivered by RSPB and Lafarge Tarmac with support from Sita funding and construction by Sandinyoureye Ltd.
Reedbeds are dense stands of common reed that occur predominantly in river floodplains and low-lying coastal plains. They are a nationally scarce habitat supporting several rare dependent species of birds and invertebrates, such as the bittern and reed leopard moth.
Rafts are a useful way of providing island habitat in areas of deep open water, where the depth is greater than 45-50cm. Their purpose is to improve breeding success by providing areas safe from flooding, disturbance or predation.
This species-rich habitat occurs in areas of high rainfall, mostly in south-west England, on poorly drained, shallow peat or peaty mineral soils with a range of pH conditions. They have low available nutrient concentrations and are usually maintained by low intensity grazing or mowing.
Sandy Heath is an active sand and gravel quarry, adjacent to the RSPB’s headquarters and nature reserve at The Lodge in Bedfordshire.
Mineral sites provide excellent opportunities for natural regeneration and natural habitat succession. Once common in the wider countryside, these important ecological processes and the habitats they support are now limited due to changes in agriculture and an intensification of land use.
Lowland wood-pasture and parklandis a woodland type that has developed through past management, rather than being a particular vegetation community. Where woodland has been grazed at moderate stocking levels for many years, it will develop an open park-like character.
Unimproved, semi-natural, neutral grasslands are rare – only 3% of the area of this species-rich grassland found in the UK in the 1930s remains. They are found on moist, low fertility, mineral soils with a pH of 5-7. Former mineral workings can be ideal opportunities for creation.
Lowland heathland is found below 300 m altitude, on generally sandy soils, which also contain botanically important valley mires. Former mineral workings can be ideal opportunities for creation. It will take several years for the full assemblage of heathland vegetation and features to develop, but a heath-like sward can be achieved in 3-5 years in favourable circumstances.
Our Case Studies pages showcase the great work which is already being undertaken across the minerals and planning sectors to help enhance and protect the natural world and leave a lasting legacy for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.