The efforts of Swindon-based Hills Quarry Products in developing a thriving wildlife habitat on the restored areas of its Shorncote Quarry in the Cotswold Water Park has been recognised by the national Mineral Products Association.
A ‘highly commended’ Restoration Award was presented to Hills’ representatives by Dr Tony Juniper CBE, chairman of Natural England, at an award ceremony in London attended by representatives from quarrying companies from across the UK.
Praising the work that Hills has undertaken the Mineral Products Association’s chief executive, Nigel Jackson said: “By creating new habitats during quarry restoration, the mineral products industry is a pioneer in the field of nature conservation.”
Peter Andrew, Group director Hills Quarry Products said: ““Winning this award is a fantastic achievement for Hills but especially so for our colleagues working at Shorncote Quarry. The award recognises, and emphasises, our dedication to providing much improved land after quarrying.”
“Our long-standing collaborative relationship with the Cotswold Water Park Trust has meant that we have been able to create these stunning biodiverse habitats for nature to thrive.”
The Cotswold Water Park extends to 40 square miles and has 150 lakes developed from a century of gravel extraction. The award-winning Shorncote Quarry has produced nine of the Water Park’s lakes, which are used by wading, migrating, breeding, feeding and nesting birds.
The un-manicured and naturally regenerating areas at Shorncote Quarry are providing excellent habitat for Stonechat, Goldfinch, Little Ringed Plover, Kingfisher, Sand Martin, Oyster Catcher, Marsh Harrier, Hobby and Lapwing. Starling murmurations are common over Shorncote’s reed beds and the created islands have attracted Bittern, Little Egret and Spotted Crake to take up residence.
Pictured: Members of the Hills Quarry Products team with Ben Welbourn, operations manager CWPT (second from left) who have worked together on the restoration at Hills’ Shorncote Quarry.