Restoration earthworks have been used to create a further 30ha of wetland habitat at Hanson’s Newington and Mission sand and gravel quarry in Nottinghamshire.
The former Newington South quarry is being restored to create 11ha of reedbeds and 19ha of wet grassland in the hope of attracting wildlife including snipe, bitter, otters and water voles. The earthworks have created a series of reed bed cells, which will be planted with common reed. The new wet grassland will be sown with a suitable grassland mix. A viewing platform is due to be constructed later in 2019, this will enable visitors to gain an elevated view of the restored landscape.
A further 12ha of land has been restored for agricultural use, 2.5k trees are to be planted around the edge of the restorated farmland as well as 700m of hedgerow.
The latest phase of works follows the previous restoration of c25a of land to wet grassland in 2013. This land is already hosting a wide range of waders, wildfowl and gulls, including several species of conservation concern status.
Later this year, following final extraction, an area known as Newington West will also be restored, providing addition wet grassland and incorporating public accessibility via a circular walk and further viewing platform.
Hanson has worked closely with the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust throughout the restoration works. A habitat management committee – including representatives from Natural England, RSPB, the Environment Agency, Mission Parish Council and Nottinghamshire County Council – will oversee the long-term management of the site.
John Ingham, principal landscape architect at Hanson UK, said: "Following final restoration, we will be responsible for the management of the habitat for 26 years so that the benefits for wildlife will continue to be delivered for many years after extraction finishes at the site."
The Newington and Mission quarry has been operational for over 30 years and consists of 77ha of land, most of which is within the floodplain of the River Idle. The majority of the site is set to be restored to UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority habitats. This will complement and extend the adjoining River Idle Washlands site of special scientific interest, which is important for feeding and roosting populations of wintering and passage wildfowl and breeding waders.