Last summer’s Nature After Minerals best-practice demonstration events well received by stakeholders
WHILE last year’s glorious summer months with their butterflies, bees and visiting migrant birds may now be a distant memory, the positive reception which the Nature After Minerals (NAM) best-practice demonstration events received throughout June, July, September and October still echo and details of some of the events are featured in the latest issue of the RESTORE project newsletter.
More than 200 delegates attended this schedule of NAM events, which formed an integral part of the EU-funded RESTORE Project through the INTERREG IVB NWE Programme. Working in partnership with many stakeholders, the project is working to develop a framework to restore quarries for the benefit of people, biodiversity and habitats, across north-west Europe.
The events were run as a free resource to stakeholders, to provide an informal networking forum and learning opportunity to hear of best-practice in minerals restoration which has and can benefit the natural environment and local communities. They also provided an opportunity to learn what should be avoided if nature and people are to benefit from such sites, going forward.
Attendees were able to tap into the first-hand experience and practical tips of experts in the field of minerals restoration – mineral operators’ site managers and landscape architects; planners; conservation land managers and ecologists – through participation in indoor presentation and discussion gatherings, and by visiting operational and restored sites which they may otherwise not have had the chance to see.
Sites visited varied widely in terms of location (from Yorkshire in the north of the RESTORE project designated area, to Maastricht in the Netherlands, in the south), the topics covered and the type of restoration considered.
The first event in Yorkshire reflected on re-colonization by nature through natural regeneration of a site, while the event in Maastricht included the unveiling of a billboard to announce the commencement of work to provide public access to the restored ENCI quarry site, via an ambitious 40m staircase down the side of the quarry face.
Commenting on the successful completion of the events schedule, NAM’s events and communications officer, Debra Royal, said: ‘It was truly rewarding to see the interest and uptake in attendance at these events. Ultimately, all stakeholders want to do the right thing and give something back, so that we can all benefit from the wonders of the natural environment by providing a home for nature, during and after the operational phase of a quarry’s life.
‘The interest in these events clearly shows how seriously stakeholders take their responsibilities and how keen they are to learn from others’ expertise and experience in the field. Such enthusiasm was great to see.’
RESTORE’s latest newsletter, with details of these events, can be viewed on the project website and on the NAM website. Both websites are in the process of being updated to provide details of the events’ outcomes.