Mines and quarries

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  victor chumbon 2 years, 4 months ago.

How do you feel about mining and quarrying operations? Do you have any concerns about their impact on the natural environment and communities, or suggestions for improving this? Sharing your views and ideas will help us develop a plan for natural resource management in the area.

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  • #261 Reply

    Sid Howells

    Planning conditions should include provision for recording and sampling for geological science purposes during the operational phase and, where practical, retention of representative exposures of geological features at restoration phase.

    Consideration should also be given, within the limitations of health and safety, to promoting research and educational opportunities whilst the geological resource is being worked. The latter can sometimes include student placements for work experience.

    Ideally, the mining/quarrying company should provide the funding for the work described above, which is unlikely to be significant in relation to overall costs, and such work often provides useful feedback for improving efficiency of the working and/or additional training opportunities for company staff.

    I will be happy to provide an input to any discussion of these matters, based on nearly 40 years experience as a professional geologist working in industry, research, education, environmental protection and geological conservation.

    #391 Reply


    Old mining sites don’t create new habitats they replace lost habitats which are limited to the type of habitat and which are never as robust or as important as those lost in the first instance.
    Leachate from mine adits can cause pollution to rivers and ground water long after mines are closed
    However we all use mined materials so do we do in this county with higher environmental legislation (but not always enforcement) or use material from other parts of the world with lower standards of safety for the environment and people?

    #399 Reply

    Alan Bowring

    Abandoned quarries are reclaimed by nature at varying speeds according to the nature of the rock, its geographical context (elevation, exposure etc) and extraction techniques used. If re-naturalisation is not left to take its own course then we should also have some thought as to the cultural heritage which abandoned workings represent when ‘landscaping’ or ‘reclaiming’ old workings. Unsympathetic restoration can sterilise a site from a cultural point of view, as much as it might for its biodiversity. Preservation/conservation of geodiversity should be a key objective here too – retain interesting rock exposures for educational and interpretive reasons within constraints imposed by H&S.

    #610 Reply

    Sid Howells

    reply to anonymous (1st July)

    In my experience (40 years as a professional geologist and fieldwork tutor), and I’m fairly certain that my many of my colleagues who are ecologists will agree, quarries and sand/gravel pits provide some valuable habitat just outside the active area of the workings even when still in use, and if left without ‘restoration’ to yet another intensively-farmed field (*) they become an increasingly important place of refuge for many types of wildlife, as often recognised through notification of SSSI and/or establishment of local nature reserves.

    * having seen the severe degradation of habitat on agricultural land, between 2000 – 2006 I bought (with no hope of any return on that outlay) 7 acres of it just to restore some of the biodiversity that my grandfather would have been familiar with in his old hay meadows.

    #1759 Reply

    victor chumbon

    Quarries should provide internship for students doing mining to enable them gain some experience on the sector.

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