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Hills host open day at Mortimer Quarry

Mortimer Quarry open day

Local residents gain understanding of quarry operations and mitigation methods used to protect wildlife 

MORE than 100 people experienced the workings of Mortimer Quarry when they attended a recent open day hosted by site operators Hills Quarry Products.

Hills held the event to help local residents gain a better understanding of the operations at the site and the preparatory work that is undertaken before mineral extraction can begin.

A video explaining the importance of quarrying to everyday life was shown alongside displays detailing the numerous ecological mitigation methods used to ensure that flora and fauna are protected during the working life of a quarry.

Visitors were especially interested in the plans for the overall final restoration of the site, which will include three small wetlands and areas returned to a biodiverse mix of woodland and heathland habitats attractive to wildlife.

A display of products by the Englefield Estate showing items such as window frames, benches and chairs, all made from timber harvested on site, attracted a lot of interest.

There was also a display in support of the Mineral Products Association’s national Cycle Safe campaign, which highlighted the potentially dangerous zones for cyclists and other vulnerable road users around heavy goods vehicles.

The display included a Hills vehicle with life size cut-outs of cyclists placed around it. People were invited to get into the driver’s seat and mark on a diagram which of these cyclists could be seen, helping them to understand the importance of never being within the ‘blind spot’ areas around a lorry.

Two representatives from the MPA were at the event to answer questions about the quarrying industry in general.

In addition, Thames Valley Archaeological Services were on hand to discuss how items found during quarry working are protected and preserved. Whilst no finds have been made at Mortimer Quarry, there were items found at other Hills’ quarries for visitors to see.

Peter Andrew, group director of Hills Quarry Products, said: ‘We are proactive about keeping local people informed and enjoyed providing them with an insight into operations which they may not realize are on their doorstep. Everyone was very interested in the work we are doing here at Mortimer and gave us a lot of positive feedback.’

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