The quarry at Ibsley has won a major restoration award.
The Lafarge Tarmac quarry near Ringwood produced more than two million tonnes of sand and gravel between 1991 and 2008 and now it has won the Mineral Product Association’s (MPA) highest award for restoration, the Cooper Heyman Cup.
Andy Cadell, Lafarge Tarmac’s estates manager, said: “Ibsley is not just a superb restoration in its own right but part of a much acclaimed wider network along the Avon Valley north of Ringwood.
“The restoration of Ibsley links with the adjoining restoration of Blashford Lakes, a series of former gravel pits which provide landscape habitats in an area dominated by national and European conservation designations including SSSIs, SPA, SAC and Ramsar sites.
“I am so pleased that Ibsley won this award – it is a triumph not just for the company, but for its employees and members of the community who have all contributed to the cause with enthusiasm and passion.”
Since the quarry has stopped being excavated, the 36-hectare site has been restored to a mix of open water conservation lakes, wetland and grassland. Innovative and practical techniques have been deployed to control water levels, establish the species rich grassland and reedbeds and control invasive weeds.
Julia Davey, project manager and team leader at Hampshire County Council, who has been the planning case officer for the site for more than 18 years, said: “This is a shining example of sustainable development and what can be achieved through partnership working for the long term enhancement of the environment, and for the benefit of the local and wider community and future generations.”
The site is popular with wildfowl and breeding waders and great effort has been made to make the site accessible for bird watchers, including the provision of three bird hides.
The site has also won an award from the British Trust for Ornithology for attracting birds.