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2020 / 2021 Edition

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From bombers to birds

THE US fighter and bomber aircraft which used to be a familiar sight at Greenham Common are to be replaced by birds and wildlife thanks to a partnership between West Berkshire Council and Tarmac Southern Ltd.

Following a 12-month period during which around 1 million tonnes of sand and gravel were transported from the site, via a temporary haul road, to Tarmac’s Lower Farm Quarry some 2km away, the re-landscaping of almost 30ha of land in the north-east corner of the former air base is now complete.

The new landform will support a heathland and wetland habitat that will be encouraged to develop over the next few years.

Speaking at the official opening of the site in September, Councillor Mollie Lock, chairman of West Berkshire Council, said: ‘It will be fascinating to watch this area of the common over the coming months and years. The site should provide an ideal environment for many rare species including wading birds such as redshanks and plovers.’

Paul Gwilt, managing director of Tarmac Southern, added: ‘Despite one of the wettest years on record, we sometimes managed to move as much as 14,000 tonnes of material a day, while ensuring that no damage was done to three nearby SSSIs.’

The Environment Agency, English Nature and the RSPB have all praised the work that has been carried out at the site.

 

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