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From The Sands of The Sahara to The Sands of CEMEX Quarries


11 March 2013

Sand martins make an amazing journey every winter from the Sahara to the UK, to breed in piles of sand. This year, every CEMEX UK quarry will be creating the sheer banks of sand that sand martins love to make their homes in.

As well as the creation of the sand banks, CEMEX in partnership with the RSPB is launching a sand martin awareness campaign with an advice sheet to help quarry site managers accommodate this protected species.

Sand martins live in colonies, sometimes with over 100 pairs breeding on a single site. CEMEX and the RSPB have put together a management plan to ensure that all 60 quarries have suitable nesting sites available for this year’s imminent return.

As well as providing sheer sand banks, the quarries will ensure that the birds are not located close to the main operations and are also inaccessible to predators.

CEMEX’s Rugeley Quarry, near Cannock Chase in the West Midlands has created a suitable environment for the sand martin every year “ What a spectacular sight it will be as these small birds arrive at Rugeley in the next weeks having flown all the way from the Sahara.

“Every year many come to the site and this year the sand pile is being placed close to Bevin’s Birches a restored area where it will be quiet. I’m sure our sand is as good for house building as that found in the Sahara“ comments Gareth Fenna. The UK sand martin population has seen a noticeable decline in recent years, possibly due to the droughts in their winter feeding areas. These birds, like their more common ‘cousins’, swallows and house martins, undertake an amazing migration every winter, flying thousands of miles.


Note to editors:

  • For further information contact Elizabeth Young; email: telephone: 01932 583214
  • Helping to build a Greater Britain – CEMEX’s vision is to help build a greater Britain by providing solutions to construction problems through our innovative building materials, our expertise, our understanding of the construction issues and our people.  We aim to create the best service and the best solutions for a better future.      
  • CEMEX is a global building solutions company and leading supplier of cement, ready-mixed concrete and aggregates. In the UK, CEMEX also produces asphalt, and has a significant share of the concrete- paving and block sectors. Additionally, the company is the leading supplier of concrete sleepers to the rail industry and a supplier of PFA cement additives. CEMEX has a national supply network in the UK with over 360 locations, to ensure that quality building materials are available to customers locally. For more information, see,

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