Venn Ottery Quarry restored to wildlife habitat
- Credit: Archant
A former quarry has been transformed into a meadow and wildlife habitat following a year long restoration project.
Aggregate Industries began work to restore the 30 hectare site at Venn Ottery Quarry after it was closed in December 2016.
The quarry had been previously non-operational since the early 1980s but was used for the extraction of sand and gravel in 2011.
The project began by moving and spreading material and soil before a meadow was sown in May 2017. The meadow will flower in the summer and will be used for grazing by sheep in the autumn.
In addition, two kilometres of fencing was built for pony grazing areas on the heathland, as well as the planting of 600 metres of hedgerow and 1,600 trees.
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An office and volunteer accommodation has also been built for the local RSPB team.
Simon Wiltshire, biodiversity and restoration advisor at Aggregate Industries, said:. “We are proud of the habitat we have created, which includes an area of broadleaf woodland, a species rich meadow lined by hedgerows and large areas of heath connecting with the wider landscape.”
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“It is always a top priority for us to protect the local wildlife, which is why we have been working with the RSPB for a long time. This has included monitoring populations of rare heathland birds, such as nightjars, and Dormice that were present prior to the quarry becoming operational again to ensure they were protected.
“We have also worked with a partnership of local conservation groups to design and build a large Horseshoe bat hibernacula, which is a winter hibernation chamber, to support the areas Greater and Lesser Horseshoe bats, which are two of the UK’s rarest species.”