Boosting the Butterflies of the Oswestry Hills - ALSF Project 2009
The aim of this Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund project was to boost the area and connectivity of lowland calcareous grassland at Llynclys Quarry and to create a new permenant wetland feature.
With funding provided by Natural England through Defra’s Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund, an environmental tax on the quarry industry, the County Council has benefited from expertise and assistance from Butterfly Conservation, Shropshire Wildlife Trust, the Environment Agency and Tarmac Ltd.
Difficult terrain and lack of access tracks meant the original estimate of Lowland Calcareous Grassland restoration (5.1ha) could not be achieved. The final figure was 3.7ha. The volunteers working on the site were keen to return so there is every chance the final figure could be achieved later in 2009.
The wetland feature proved difficult to complete. The substrate was similar in consistency to soft clay. It had been thought that a bogmaster bulldozer should be able to skim the surface and build up a shallow bund to retain water. It would also dig out a few deeper areas. In practice the machine sank further than expected and the material proved very difficult to move. An excavator had to be brought in using mats to support its weight. This led to a larger bud with perhaps a small deep area, although this depends on the final level of the water and the outflow pipe level which can be controlled. The rough look to the final design was appropriate and the many hollows and troughs should provide the topographically diverse surface we had envisaged.
Sustainability of this project will primarily be achieved through the Llynclys Quarry Biodiversity Action Plan. Shropshire Wildlife Trust volunteers and application to Higher Level Stewardship may provide additional assistance for delivery of the Quarry BAP.
The actions of this project are reported on BARS (www.ukbars.defra.gov.uk) and the full report is available from this web site. Click HERE for the report.
Cooper Quarry before work began... and after...
The volunteer area before starting work...