Between spring 2006 and early 2007 a total of 38 aggregate quarries (both active and inactive) were surveyed to allow a more complete assessment of the scale and specifics of this resource for biodiversity; exceeding the original target of 20 site surveys.
Despite a considerably foreshortened survey season - due to a late spring and hot, dry summer - the vegetation of 37 quarries was mapped in detail and the majority of sites were also surveyed for invertebrates, bryophytes and lichens. In addition several sites were surveyed for their aquatic invertebrates and their bat populations.
Opportunities for biodiversity enhancement in quarry sites have partly been realised by projects funded by the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund, partly by an increasing commitment by the aggregates industry to consider biodiversity, and partly by increasing conditions imposed by minerals planning authorities. Nevertheless, huge potential for biodiversity gains still exists and many opportunities are still being lost simply through ignorance of existing or potential interest.
Another key objective of this project has been the establishment of a database which collates and summarises much of what is known about Shropshire Quarry sites. This has been achieved and opportunities for biodiversity enhancement in quarry sites are already being realised and acted upon.
Highlights of the biodiversity surveys include:
- Approximately 30% of the total area of the quarry sites surveyed is UK priority habitat. Compared to less than 5% BAP habitat coverage for Shropshire overall, this is a significant result.
- The Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly was discovered breeding in good numbers at Titterstone Clee. This is only the third population in the whole of the West midlands.
- The second best site in Shropshire for bees and wasps was found. The site included one Red Data Book 1 species and two RDB 3 species.
- Clay Screw-moss (Syntrichia amplexa) was found new to Shropshire. This tiny moss is found elsewhere in Europe only from a few clay pits in one district of Leicestershire.
For further details please contact Dan Wrench (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. 01743 252562).
The final report can be downloaded from the BARS web site or from: