These Case Study pages showcase examples of good practice in minerals restoration which is benefiting the natural environment and people.
- Natural regeneration
- Enhancement of non-operational land
Whitesands Quarry is a 100ha site situated to the south-east of the town of Dunbar, East Lothian. Recognising the potential for the site to deliver for biodiversity and, in particular, wintering wildfowl and wader populations, Lafarge Tarmac and RSPB Scotland entered into an agreement to undertake an in-depth feasibility study, to explore different habitat creation options at the site.
Weatherhill Quarry is a 116h silica sand quarry situated within the North Pennines SAC / SPA. Following the cessation of extraction works, the operator is obliged to submit a reclamation scheme for the site. Given the sensitive location of the site, Nature After Minerals was asked to provide advice for a restoration scheme that maximises biodiversity, while also extending the internationally-important habitats in the surrounding designated land.
The quarry has been worked since just after the 1st World War, but Tarmac Ltd acquired the site in 1980 and in 1990 installed a new plant to produce crushed aggregate. The quarry was then acquired by J Suttle Transport in January 2011. To date c 20 million tonnes of stone have been produced, with 95% sold to within a 35 mile radius of the site.
Plenmeller is an opencast coal site near Haltwhistle and approximately 40 km west of Newcastle. The site is in an area noted for its important upland plant communities.
Pentney Quarry is located in the Nar Valley, approximately 10km south east of Kings Lynn. The entire quarry covers over 90 ha of land adjacent to the River Nar. The river is over a metre above the surrounding land and is contained within levees.
Gravel was extracted around Little Paxton between the 1940s and the early 1960s, resulting in a series of flooded pits. There were no plans to restore these for nature conservation, but later operators allowed natural regeneration to occur and by 1980 Paxton Pits had developed considerable wildlife interest, in particular for birds.
Panshanger Park and the River Mimram that flows through it are part of a Grade II* listed historic landscape. Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown was appointed to carry out the original landscaping in 1756, followed by Humphrey Repton into the early 19th century. During World War II much of the park was ploughed and planted for arable use.
Needingworth Quarry is one of the largest sand and gravel extraction sites in the UK. Extraction is expected to span over 30 years, during which time 28 million tonnes of sand and gravel will be removed. It covers an area of approximately 975 ha adjacent to the Great Ouse River.
The Newark – Clifton area of the Trent valley has significant potential for wetland habitat creation; 1200 ha of mineral reserves located within this area. This potential will only be met if all stakeholders develop a shared vision; Nature After Minerals / RSPB facilitated two workshops to scope interest in developing a vision for wetland habitat creation, and then develop a partnership.
The Middleton Lakes complex is located approximately 1.5km south west of Tamworth, within the River Tame valley. Principally in Staffordshire, part of the site crosses into the neighbouring county of Warwickshire.