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High conservation priority bird at northern CEMEX quarry

6th March 2012: The Twite bird, an inconspicuous bird not dissimilar to a sparrow, is breeding at one of CEMEX UK quarries in the north of England. The Twite (Carduelis flavirostris) has been categorized as high conservation importance and a priority UK BAP (Biodiversity Action Plan) species.

The quarry offers the Twite great nesting areas in the cracks of the quarry faces. The bird likes to nest close to moorland edges usually in plant litter and under small patches of bracken, tall heather and cliff edges. This quarry is the perfect location.

In addition, the habitat and surrounding area offers this small finch the specific food source that it needs. Its diet is made up almost entirely of seeds and in Spring the surrounding area has strips of unused low fertile land which been allowed to grow into flower meadows and grasslands. The small seeds from plants such as dandelion and sorrel present in the meadows make up the Twite's diet.

Through changes in land usage from traditional to more intensive, large areas of the Twite's natural feeding and breeding habitats have been destroyed. This has resulted in a rapid decline in populations of the species, with two colonies now present in northwest Europe and in central Asia.

CEMEX UK, building materials supplier, and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) are working in partnership to maintain, enhance and restore the biodiversity of the company's land holdings. With practical advice on the appropriate management of the land in and around the quarry the partnership can help ensure the future of the Twite.


Notes to editors:

  • CEMEX UK and the RSPB have launched a biodiversity strategy for CEMEX's operations in the UK to enrich nature. With the support of the RSPB CEMEX has committed to challenging targets covering its operations including the creation and maintenance of 1,000 hectares of priority habitats by 2020. This is equivalent to approximately 100 hectares per annum and represents a major investment in protecting and promoting nature and wildlife for future generations to enjoy.
  • 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-block paving, and concrete 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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