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‘Inspiring’ Restoration At Lydd Quarry Shortlisted In MPA Awards

Restoration work carried out by Brett Aggregates at its Lydd sand and gravel quarry in Kent earned a place among the finalists in the Landscape category of the prestigious Mineral Products Association (MPA) Restoration Awards 2019.

The award ceremony was part of the MPA’s Quarries and Nature 2019 event, which brought together over 70 leading environmental and conservation organisations and industry operators at The Royal Society, London.

MPA's members manage or control over 115 square miles of land, and the awards celebrated the continuing contribution to nature conservation by showcasing many examples of the industry delivering ‘biodiversity net gain’ – where the ecological element of a site is enhanced – with some of the best examples of quarry restoration and wildlife conservation anywhere in Europe.

When mineral extraction is complete, restoration can provide an even better environment for plants and wildlife than was there before, especially when it provides links with surrounding habitats, as is the case at Lydd Quarrywhich sits in an area recognised as internationally important for coastal ecology and geomorphology.

Restoration work carried out by Brett, and working with local planning authorities and Natural England, has added to the biodiversity of an area already designated as a Ramsar site and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) with European Special Protection. The quarry, which has been part of the landscape for over 50 years, is now part of the SSSI, adding to the footprint of this key British wetland habitat.

A diverse range of bird species, both migratory and native to Britain, are attracted to the restored habitat, including Bewick Swan, Avocet, Golden Plover, Hen Harrier and Marsh Harrier, while Kent’s ‘giant hares’ are regularly seen on the arable field margins and flood plain grazing marsh.

“The diversity of species that we have witnessed on site is amazing – our rarest visitor being the Black-necked Grebe,” says Gregor Mutch, Planning and Development Director, Brett Group. “Regular monitoring of birds and wildlife is carried out at Lydd and a wealth of valuable new data is being collected and analysed.” 

Competition was fierce for this year’s Awards and the restoration at Lydd was described as ‘inspiring’ by the judges.

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