CEMEX UK is the first ever winner of the new Natural England Biodiversity Award for its restoration work at Rugeley quarry in Staffordshire. 80 hectares of high quality wildlife habitat has been created and restored to lowland dry heathland, complementing the adjoining Cannock Chase Special Area for Conservation. The site was described by the judges as "stunning".
The restored area of the Staffordshire quarry provides habitat for priority species such as nightjar, woodlark, tree pipit, adder and hybrid bilberry and by 2032, CEMEX estimates that it will have created over 200 hectares of the nationally prioritised heathland habitat at Rugeley for wildlife to live, breed and thrive.
The judges were impressed by the fact that CEMEX had voluntarily decided not to quarry sand and gravel to the permitted depth to ensure that the new heathland remained dry. "The sheer extent of the restored lowland dry heath and the quality of the habitat produced was outstanding," said the report.
The company has also worked closely with the local RSPB manager, James Baker and volunteers from the Friends of Cannock Chase who joined working parties to clear scrub from an area known as Bevin's Birches to create an open mosaic habitat with lichen heath characteristics.
The award was presented by Natural England Chief Executive Helen Phillips at the Mineral Products Association's biodiversity event Building on our legacy .. Realising our potential at the Royal Society in London. She told guests "There are countless inspiring examples of what happens when restoration and conservation are planned into the early stages of mineral extraction and the Mineral Products Association Awards are a great way of highlighting the efforts that have been made. I am delighted to be able to recognise the commitment, knowledge and enthusiasm for wildlife shown by the high standard of entries and the dedication shown by so many of MPA's members and in this instance by CEMEX UK."
The award entry was made in partnership with the RSPB and was one of 15 entries for this award.
CEMEX UK is a member of the Mineral Products Association which represents around 90 per cent of the mineral products industry. MPA members manage or control an area of land the size of a national park - this includes at least two National Nature Reserves, 22 local nature reserves, 15 field study and education centres and 13 nature trails, with more planned.
The RSPB estimates that the industry could, on its own, deliver UK biodiversity targets for nine out of 11 priority habitats.
Notes to Editors:
- For further information and photographs contact Elizabeth Young t. 01932 583214 e. email@example.com. Footage of the site can be seen on YouTube and photograph on Flickr
- CEMEX is a global building materials company that provides high-quality products and reliable service to customers and communities in more than 50 countries throughout the world
- In the UK, as well as ready mixed concrete, cement and aggregates, CEMEX also produces asphalt, and has a significant share of the roof tile, rail sleepers, concrete-block paving, and concrete-block segments. CEMEX has a national supply network in the UK to ensure that quality building materials are available to customers locally. For more information, see www.CEMEX.co.uk or www.cemex.com
- The Mineral Products Association (MPA) is the trade association for aggregates, asphalt, cement, concrete, lime, mortar and silica sand industries. With the recent addition of the The British Precast Concrete Federation (BPCF) it has a growing membership of 418 companies and is the sectoral voice for mineral products. MPA membership is made up of the vast majority of independent SME companies throughout the UK as well as the 9 major international and global companies. It covers 100% of GB cement production, 90% of aggregate production and 95% of asphalt and ready-mixed concrete production and 70% of precast concrete production. Each year the industry supplies in excess of £5 billion of materials to the £110 billion construction and other sectors. Industry production represents the largest materials flow in the UK economy and is also one of the largest manufacturing sectors. For more information visit www.mineralproducts.org. or contact Hilary Arrowsmith t. 020 7963 8017 firstname.lastname@example.org