Restoration work at Newington and Misson set to deliver 30ha of new reed beds and wet grassland
RESTORATION works are now complete to create a further 30ha of wetland habitat at Hanson’s Newington and Misson sand and gravel quarry in Bassetlaw, Nottinghamshire.
The former Newington South Quarry is being restored to create 11ha of reed beds and 19ha of wet grassland in the hope of attracting a wide range of wildlife, including snipe, bittern, otters and water voles.
The earthworks have created a series of reed-bed cells, which will be planted with common reed, and the new wet grassland will be sown with a suitable grassland mix this Spring.
The foundations for a new viewing platform have also been established off Slaynes Lane and, once construction of the platform is complete later in 2019, this will allow visitors to gain an elevated view across the restored landscape.
In addition, 12ha of land, formerly known as Misson Quarry, has been restored to agriculture and 2,500 trees are being planted in blocks around the edge of the restored farmland as well as 700m of new hedgerow.
The latest phase of works follows the previous restoration of approximately 25ha, known as Newington North, 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, the area known as Newington West will also be restored, providing additional wet grassland and incorporating a publicly accessible circular walk and another viewing platform.
Hanson have worked closely with Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust throughout the restoration works and a Habitat Management Committee, also including representatives from Natural England, the RSPB, the Environment Agency, Misson 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.’
Hanson’s Newington and Misson quarry has been operational for more than 30 years and comprises 77ha of land in total, most of which is within the flood plain of the river Idle. The adjoining river Idle Washlands Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) is important for feeding and roosting populations of wintering and passage wildfowl and breeding waders.
Prior to extraction, Newington Quarry was intensively managed farmland of minimal biodiversity value. The majority of the site will be restored to UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) priority habitats complementing and significantly extending the adjoining river Idle Washlands SSSI.