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Hanson pledge to protect SSSIs

HANSON Quarry Products Europe have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with English Nature which will protect and bring benefits to over 40 wildlife sites and Sites of Special Scientific Interest in England.

Under the terms of the agreement, Hanson have made a commitment to achieve:

  • improved communication and understanding between the two organizations
  • 'favourable conservation status' within two years at all Hanson-controlled SSSIs
  • the incorporation of biodiversity targets and English Nature Natural Area targets in all restoration and after-use schemes.

As part of their undertaking, Hanson have also agreed to make no new applications on land currently designated as an SSSI, unless an overriding national need has been clearly identified or it can be demonstrated that the special interest will be sustained during extraction.

Speaking on the eve of his retirement, Derek Langslow, chief executive of English Nature, said: 'This commitment from one of the major extraction companies is a big step forward for nature conservation. Not only have Hanson recognized the wildlife value of the land they own, but they are taking action to maintain and enhance the quality of these special sites for the future.'

John Mortimer, Hanson's technical and external affairs director, added: 'The quarrying of vital raw materials can sometimes be an emotive subject. We believe the way forward is through partnership. Our team of specialists who work on the design and management of sites will respond positively to this new challenge.'

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