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2001 Restoration Awards

This year’s QPA Restoration Awards were presented by Robert Sturdey, MEP for the Eastern Region presented, at a ceremony held in London on 7 March.

Fourteen sites received awards this year, with four attaining Awards with Special Merit. The highest accolade — the Cooper Heyman Cup — was awarded jointly to Lafarge Aggregates and the Buckden Marina Co. for the creation of Buckden Marina in Cambridgeshire.

Developed on former sand and gravel workings, the marina is next to, and connected to, the river Great Ouse. The restoration was phased and the award applies to the bulk of the site (70 acres). The remainder of the quarry had already been restored to a marina complex covering 22 acres. The lakes have been restored by Lafarge as a water-recreation complex, with activities carefully zoned to avoid the competing demands placed on a single body of water.

Still evolving, the complex now comprises lakes for water-skiing, sailboarding and off-river moorings, club buildings, gymnasium and chandlery. The lake margins have also been partly developed with log-cabin-style holiday chalets. Lafarge also took great care to preserve the wildlife species that were present in the quarry, preparing and implementing a landscape-management plan concentrating on tree preservation and encouraging wildlife. Wetland habitats were created and wildfowl are now plentiful, including some 200 swans that inhabit the lake.

The four Awards with Special Merit went to:

  • Aggregate Industries for the restoration of Bestwall Quarry in Dorset to nature conservation and agriculture.
  • Lafarge Aggregates for the restoration of Foxholes sand and gravel quarry to the dual end-use of housing and industrial development. The QPA commended this because of its sustainability, with housing located near to, but separate from, sources of employment.
  • Lafarge Aggregates for the restoration of Holwell Court sand and gravel quarry to a variety of end uses including a 46ha area of parkland, an area of arable farming, an irrigation lake with angling facilities, a mile-long footpath link, and a 10-acre former barracks site which is now used as grazing land.
  • Tarmac Northern’s Old Nosterfield Quarry in North Yorkshire was a joint entry with the Lower Ure Conservation Trust. The quarry has been transformed into a nature conservation area after the original restoration plans were amended to take account of nearby developing wildlife habitats. A quarry liaison group advised on all parts of the restoration process.

The remaining nine award-winning sites were: Coleshill Quarry (RMC Aggregates (Western) Ltd); Warren Villas (RMC Aggregates (Eastern Counties) Ltd); Dalbeath Quarry (Aggregate Industries); Waterford (Robert Brett & Sons Ltd); Ryemeads Quarry (RMC Aggregates (Greater London) Ltd); Roxton (Lafarge Aggregates); Eastbrook Farm (Hanson Quarry Products Europe); Lound Quarry (Hanson Quarry Products Europe); and Thurlby Quarry (RMC Aggregates (Eastern) Ltd).

Commenting at the awards ceremony, Simon van der Byl, director general of the QPA, said: ‘Each and every award winner is evidence of excellent environmental practice and I congratulate this year’s winners. It is particularly pleasing to note that the award scheme this year demonstrates not only a high quality of restoration, but also a diversity in the types of restoration achieved by the industry.’

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