Environmental

We have three quarry areas at the Cement Works, the Limestone Quarry, West Shale Quarry and East Shale Quarry. Each quarry is being restored to create wildlife habitat, and each has its’ own approved restoration concept plan. As restoration works take place, the plans are modified a little to improve the final landscape design for habitat creation and to help improve biodiversity. Any modifications are always discussed and agreed with mineral planning officers from the Peak District National Park Authority.

Shale extraction from the West Shale Quarry ceased in around 2001. Since then, restoration works have been progressed. This includes modifying the landform using clay material removed from above the shale beds in the East Shale Quarry. A series of different micro habitats has been created within the former quarry including woodland, wetland and marsh area, grassland, species rich grassland, retained rock faces, a series of ephemeral ponds and areas of natural recolonization. The species rich grassland areas have been translocated from the East Shale Quarry as part of soil stripping operations. These identified areas have been translocated as whole turfs to help retain the species mix present at that time and this has proved to be successful. The control of natural woodland regeneration within the area is probably going to be the most significant challenge for the future.

 

Cutting whole turfes for translocation.

 

The operational East Shale Quarry has been undergoing progressive restoration in line with the development of the quarry. The final restoration concept for this area is to create a lake with shallows and islands at the north western margins. The final slopes that will remain above the water line are being covered with a mixture of the top and sub soils that have been removed to access the shale. The soils are left to regenerate back to grassland with some shrub and woodland development.

 

Restored upper quarry slopes blending into wider landscapre. May 2017

 

The Limestone Quarry, the largest of the quarries on site, has had areas fully restored back to agricultural grazing land and woodland over time as part of the “Jellico” restoration plan for the Cement Works site. Sir Jeffrey Jellico was a pioneering landscape architect who developed the first ever landscape and restoration scheme for a large industrial site in the UK back in the 1940’s. This overall landscape design concept is still being followed today. The current operational quarry area will be restored as a valley feature leading into an amphitheatre of rock faces. The upper rock faces, above an elevation of 350m above sea level, are being “rolled over” using blasted rock which is left in place and formed into slopes. These slopes then get covered with a mixture of top and sub soils which have been removed from the surface to access the limestone as the quarry develops.

 

Completed translocation of species, rich grassland from East Quarry to West Quarry.

 

We do retain some rock features and vary the soil depths being placed on the slopes to help form landscape and habitat variation. The soils generally regenerate back to grassland within a two-year period. All this helps the upper areas of the quarry slopes to blend into the natural upland surroundings. The quarry areas below the 350m elevation level will be left to naturally regenerate over time which should greatly improve biodiversity outcomes. The slopes on the northern side of the quarry will also be planted with a mixture of over 2500 trees and shrubs to create some woodland habitat to complement existing woodland areas.

 

Fragrant Orchids at Limestone Quarry, 2017.

 

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