Villa quarry in Essex, a restored Brett quarry site, was recently opened up for public access. To mark the event an open day was held at the site and attended by local families and residents.
The site is managed by Brett in association with the Cockaynes Wood Trust and Essex Wildlife Trust. Brett Aggregates has worked closely with Andy May of Essex Wildlife Trust and Robin Cottrill of Cockaynes Wood Trust to create footpaths and boardwalks through the land and has built an exceptional habitat for invertebrates with a mix of lowland heath land, landscaped lakes and wet woodland. The site was recently highly commended by Natural England, who are delighted with the range of habitats created as part of the restoration.
The former sand & gravel quarry is now home to many rare species of insects and birds including rare species of burrowing bees and wasps, black weevil, lapwing & nightingale, all animals in desperate need of conservation and some of which are subject to a UK Biodiversity Action Plan.
Traditional woodland crafts such as willow weaving and bodging (a type of wood turning to make furniture) were enjoyed on the day along with bird watching across the lakes and pond and river dipping by the children. Guided nature walks around the site were given by EWT and The Friends of Cockaynes Wood Trust. The site was officially opened by Local MP Bernard Jenkins and will remain permanently open to the public.