Quarry afterlife, restoration and care.
Lafarge has a reputation for quarry restoration spanning four decades. We are committed to giving something back to nature and leaving a legacy for generations to come. Long before excavation begins we know how the restored land will look and often this means considerable improvements on the quality and biodiversity value of the land we leave behind.
Restoration forms an integral part of the planning stage for any quarry, and a comprehensive restoration scheme is implemented at the planning stages of every quarry development. Below are several case studies of Lafarge quarry restoration projects around the UK:
FAQ 1 : In Nottinghamshire – protecting colonies at a nature reserve alongside the Trent
Besthorpe Nature Reserve is over 121 hectares of exceptional wetland habitat.
It is the product of more than half a century of sand and gravel extraction which, through imaginative and progressive restoration has created three main habitat types - lakes, marshes and reedbeds. It also has two ancient and unimproved damp meadows which were
designated a SSSI in 1998. We have also carefully restored over 80.9 hectares of agricultural land.
This special environment now provides one of the UK's few inland breeding cormorant colonies, has a large heronry with up to 60 nesting pairs and is an important site for visiting seasonal species.
FAQ 2 : In Norfolk – creating the first man-made broad in 100 years
Progressive restoration of the former sand and gravel quarry has created the award-winning Whitlingham Country Park on the outskirts of Norwich.
The Country Park incorporates lakes, woodlands, a conservation habitat, visitor centre and meadows. The restoration of the quarry also created two new Broads: Little Broad, a 4 hectare lake and the much larger Great Broad which can accommodate a 1,500 metre-long rowing course, along with facilities for other water sports such as canoeing, windsurfing and sailing.
The southern shore will have full public access, with car parking facilities, a cycle track and picnic areas. The northern shore has sheltered areas of shallows, islands and scrapes for the benefit of wildlife.
A third area of extraction, Thorpe Marsh, is located north of the River Yare, and has been created entirely for nature conservation.
FAQ 3 : In North Yorkshire – a Grade I listed building and its grounds
Kiplin Hall, in the Vale of Mowbray in North Yorkshire, is a Grade I listed building dating from the 1620s.
Through the following centuries the estate extended to thousands of hectares, peaking in popularity the estate fell into decline and by the 1960s was near derelict and reduced to just 40 hectares.
A charitable trust was set up to restore the building and its grounds, which granted Lafarge permission to extract sand and gravel from the parkland to provide much-needed income for the Hall's restoration.
Kiplin Hall quarry opened in 1989 with Lafarge taking care that its operations did not adversely affect the historic building through monitoring of groundwater levels and in-pit de-watering practices.
The sympathetic restoration of the quarried land complemented the Grade I listed building and the local landscape.
Features of the restored land include:
- a lake with fly-fishery to provide continued income
- extensive woodland management
- management of vegetation to ensure the habitat of the protected native white-clawed crayfish was not affected
- conversion of rough ground to formal lawn
- resurfacing of estate roads
Kiplin Hall is now an established visitor attraction, serving as a conference venue, recreational facility and an educational centre
FAQ 4 : In Staffordshire - building a centre for national remembrance
The National Memorial Arboretum is the UK's memorial to those who have given their lives in the service of their country since World War II.
Lafarge has a special connection with the Arboretum as its creation began with the lease of 62 hectares of formerly quarried and restored land, at a peppercorn rent, to the Arboretum.
More than 50,000 trees have been planted on the site to create wooded parkland and there is also a tapestry of lakes, ponds, riverine habitat, grassland, reedbeds and wetland. Biodiversity has been promoted through hedge laying, willow sculpture, willow hedge construction and the building of an artificial otter holt. Several species, including otters, brown owls, kingfishers and lapwings have been spotted at the site. Full access to the site is provided to visitors and volunteers with car-parking, the Lafarge Education Resource Centre, visitor centre, café, meeting rooms, chapel and interpretation boards.
The Arboretum has won prestigious awards including the Cooper-Heyman Cup and the UEPG Special Award for Restoration.
Lafarge continues to be actively involved at all levels, working with the Arboretum to support its growth and continued success
FAQ 5 : In Hertfordshire – creating a diverse habitat restoration in a Grade II* landscape
Panshanger Park, a Grade II* listed landscape designed by ‘Capability' Brown and Humphrey Repton, is situated on the outskirts of Hertford and contains Panshanger Quarry.
Following extraction of sand and gravel, a range of habitats have been created. Existing natural habitats have been managed and enhanced to provide an important biodiversity resource.
Lafarge have been working closely with numerous local organisations including the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust. Lafarge's restoration includes the following:
The creation of a habitat for dragonflies
- Planting of a onservation crop for wild birds
- The management of ancient woodland and veteran trees, including the ‘Panshanger Oak', believed to be 600 years old
- The restoration of arable land
- Turning an ice house into a Bat Hibernacum
- Diverting and restoring important chalk streams
- The creation of new and restored lakes
FAQ 6 : In North Yorkshire - creating a new wetland in Masham
Wetlands are perhaps the most threatened habitat in Britain today. Marshes and flood meadows have rapidly disappeared as drainage techniques have improved and more land is farmed. Quarrying is one of the few human activities that can arrest this trend.
Marfield Quarry, near Masham in North Yorkshire, is an excellent example of how quarry restoration can play a positive role in developing new wetland habitats.Over 40.4 hectares of lakes, marsh areas and running streams fill former workings and a complex water management scheme uses natural spring water flowing directly from one of the former quarry extraction faces to manage the water level in a series of lagoons.
This allows high water levels to be maintained for wintering wildfowl, like whooper swans, and the lagoons to be drained during the summer to expose mudflats to attract wading birds like oystercatchers.