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Ibsley Quarry wins major restoration award

Ibsley Quarry

Lafarge-Tarmac site wins Cooper-Heyman Cup in MPA Restoration and Biodiversity Awards 2013

LAFARGE Tarmac’s Ibsley Quarry, near Ringwood, in Hampshire, which produced more than two million tonnes of sand and gravel between 1991 and 2008, last month won the Mineral Product Association’s highest award for restoration – the Cooper-Heyman Cup.

Andy Cadell, Lafarge Tarmac’s estates manager, said: ‘Ibsley is not just a superb restoration in its own right but part of a much-acclaimed wider network along the Avon valley north of Ringwood.

 

‘The restoration of Ibsley links with the adjoining restoration of Blashford lakes, a series of former gravel pits, which together provide landscape-scale habitats in an area dominated by national and European conservation designations, including SSSIs, SPA, SAC and Ramsar sites.

‘I am so pleased that Ibsley won this award – it is a triumph not just for the company, but for its employees and members of the community who have all contributed to the cause with enthusiasm and passion.’

Praising members of the Mineral Products Association (MPA) for their valuable contribution to nature conservation at the prestigious Restoration & Biodiversity Awards at the Royal Society in London, DEFRA Minister Lord de Mauley said: ‘These awards demonstrate the close relationship MPA and its members have built with wildlife organizations to enhance and protect biodiversity and will deliver a lasting legacy for wildlife.’

Since active working ceased, the 36-hectare site, located on the edge of the New Forest, has been restored to a mix of open-water conservation lakes, wetland and grassland. Innovative and practical techniques have been deployed to control water levels, establish the species-rich grassland and reed beds, and control invasive weeds.

The way the site fits into the wider strategies for the area in terms of landscape, ecology, biodiversity, access and restoration is particularly significant.

Julia Davey, project manager and team leader (applications) for county planning at Hampshire County Council and planning case officer for the site for more than 18 years said: ‘On behalf of Hampshire County Council and all those involved in the project, we are immensely proud to have worked in partnership with Lafarge Tarmac and the local community to see Ibsley Quarry surpass the restoration vision for nature conservation, amenity and agriculture that was secured through the planning permission in the early 2000s.

‘This is an exemplary example of sustainable development and what can be achieved through partnership working for the long-term enhancement of the environment, and for the benefit of the local and wider community and future generations.’

The site is popular with wildfowl and breeding waders – and with those who love to observe them. Great effort has been expended in making the site accessible for bird watchers, including the provision of three bird hides adjacent to the public footpaths.

Among the site’s other accolades was an award from the British Trust for Ornithology for attracting birds. Moreover, the site has contributed to access and recreation in the area by proving a well-used and popular link for the Avon Valley footpath which runs through the centre of the site.

 

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