Biodiversity boost as more than 1,000 trees are planted at Aggregate Industries’ Hillhead Quarry
A GROUP of 35 volunteers made up of local residents, members of local environmental group the Uffculme Green Team, and staff joined forces at the weekend to plant around 1,100 trees at Hillhead Quarry, in Cullompton, near Exeter.
Trees comprising native species including English oak, hornbeam, hazel, blackthorn, hawthorn and holly were planted as part of the initiative to boost the area’s biodiversity.
Planted between the quarry and the nearby block works, the area was chosen to help support wildlife and provide more habitat in the area, in particular for the hazel dormouse.
The hazel dormouse is an elusive and declining species with numbers having dropped by 50% since the millennium, so the population in the south-west region is extremely important to the species’ chances of bouncing back.
Josh Goodwin, biodiversity and restoration advisor in the company’s Sustainability Team, said: ‘It was great to see so many people coming out and giving up their free time to help support biodiversity in the local area.
‘As a company, our approach to sustainability is integral in all that we do and supporting nature is a key part of that. Our quarries have biodiversity management plans which work to maintain and where possible enhance biodiversity on our sites.
‘With the South West being somewhat of a stronghold for the hazel dormouse, this planting, alongside previous woodlands we have created, will really benefit the species and give them a much-expanded habitat to hopefully thrive in for years to come.’
The new woodland will go on to be incorporated into the quarry's biodiversity management plan to ensure its success, with monitoring of the target species being undertaken once the woodland has been established.