Our Eversley Quarry was runner up for the Planned Restoration category in the MPA Quarries and Nature 2017 Awards event in London, hosted by BBC presenter Sybil Ruscoe on 19 October at The Royal Society, London. The award was accepted by Alex Finn, Restoration and Arboricultural Manager. Other CEMEX sites shortlisted were Tattershall Quarry, Lincs, Quartzite Quarry near Wickwar and the Attenborough nature reserve which forms part of a larger restoration of the Trent and Tame river systems.
The event attracted 45 environmental and conservation organisations as well as industry operators to celebrate the industry’s contribution to nature conservation. Expert speakers contributed on current issues related to nature conservation. The event showcased some of the best examples of Quarry restoration and wildlife conservation anywhere in Europe that were entered for the MPA Restoration Awards and the MPA Biodiversity Awards in association with Natural England. A series of outstanding images were also presented as part of the MPA’s Nature Photo competition. The MPA also launched Quarrywatch which will involve focused nature surveys at designated locations to gain a picture of the species colonising restored quarries and other nature sites. Local wildlife groups, individual enthusiasts and schools will also be invited to take part in the initiative.
Commenting, Nigel Jackson, Chief Executive of the MPA, said: “Once again MPA members’ have demonstrated what an environmentally responsible industry can do to both protect existing and create new habitats. We could not be more proud to showcase what can be achieved by an industry that is uniquely placed to make a net gain to biodiversity.”
MPA members are planning to increase the area of priority habitats on restored sites from 6,000 hectares currently to around 9,000 hectares in coming years, and increase the length of hedgerows planted from 79 km to 237 km. The area of priority habitat would be equivalent to the size of Cardiff, and hedgerow would stretch from London to Cardiff.