Nature After Minerals (NAM) – an RSPB-led partnership programme with support form Natural England, the Mineral Products Association and the British Aggregates Association – just digs quarries! The programme does all it can to highlight the great potential quarries represent not only in helping supply our everyday products and major infrastructure but in helping to provide a vital home for nature and refuge for people, once extraction work is completed.
Dotted across our national landscape, these sites are unique in their potential to deliver for nature after commercial operations, by providing stepping stone refuges for some of our most endangered species and linking conservation hotspots across the land to provide vital corridors of habitat for species to move along.
In a review of quarries in England conducted by the RSPB in 2006, it was found that, restored in the right way with nature very much in mind, such sites alone had the potential to meet 9 out of 11 of the existing Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) habitat creation targets at the time.
NAM therefore offers advice on and promotes the design, creation and management of priority habitats to help replace fast-disappearing habitats on a landscape scale.
However, on the other side of the coin, everyone can take simple measures to help create habitats which could make the world of difference to some of our embattled species such as pollinating butterflies, bees, flies and insects – whether on an exposed scree of a working quarry at a larger scale, or, on a small scale, in our own gardens, as will be exemplified within the Institute of Quarrying’s #QuarryGarden at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Shower. A quiet, sunny and open location could be the perfect spot to create a butterfly and solitary bee bank, for instance:
Butterfly and solitary bee bank
For further information on creating habitat and attracting bugs, bees and pollinating insects, go to Buglife, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation – then go to your local nature-restored quarry to enjoy a lovely walk and be yourself restored, enjoying our wonderful natural environment.