What happens to Disused Quarries?
Sand and gravel extraction may often leave behind large water filled pits. These pits, if managed correctly, may become valuable wildlife habitats for wetland and water creatures.
Sometimes they are also used as leisure lakes – for water sports – although this may conflict with the needs of wetland wildlife.
Stone quarries come in different shapes and sizes. Some, like the gravel pits are relatively easy to reclaim. Many disused quarries, once they have been made safe, are used for leisure areas such as camp sites or motor vehicle racing tracks but the reclamation of others is more difficult. Removal of vast quantities of rock can change the very shape of our environment. Whole hillsides can be destroyed and layers of valuable soil removed.
Since 1981 there has been a time-limit imposed on those who seek to extract from the land. They are not allowed to quarry for an indefinite amount of time. Companies are also required to ‘reinstate’ the land – this can involve years of careful drainage and land management in order to get the area back to a state where it can be used.
No amount of careful management, however, will return the land to the way it was before the rock was extracted and the species of flora and fauna that were disturbed and destroyed may never be able to re-establish themselves in that area again.Read More: Credits