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LAFARGE’S Whisby Quarry Is A Wildlife Winner

CREATING habitats for rare bird species and working closely with the local wildlife trust has earned Lafarge’s Whisby Quarry two awards in a prestigious nature competition.

The site, near Lincoln, was recognised in the ‘medium quarry class’ for the BTO EDF Energy Business Bird Challenge 2010, winning both the Conservation award and the Community award.

Run every two years the challenge seeks to honour the best business sites for birds, conservation and people in the UK.

Awards are given to sites where birds thrive and initiatives are undertaken to protect, enhance and promote biodiversity.

Whisby’s success in the Community category comes thanks to the close relationship between quarry operators Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete UK and Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, which leases a restored area.

This has allowed active public involvement including an education service and volunteer programme.

In the Conservation category the site was applauded for the creation of a sand martin bank and habitat reclamation to encourage birds such as nightingale and warbler whose numbers have dropped by more than 50 per cent nationally since 1995.

Katie Aldridge, Challenge Organiser said:

“The number of birds using a site is a result of the number of well maintained habitats present and is a great indication of the site’s health and the effort that is being put into managing it.

“The BTO EDF Energy Business Bird Challenge gives the British Trust for Ornithology an opportunity to celebrate all the hard work site managers, staff and volunteers have invested in these business wildlife havens.
“Everyone at Lafarge’s Whisby Quarry Nature Reserve who was involved in the provision of such superb habitats should be very proud.
“Winning both the Conservation and the Community Involvement awards in their class is quite an achievement.”

David Park, Regional Restoration Manager for Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete UK, said:

“Whisby is a formal industrial site that is now a wonderful public amenity enjoyed by tens of thousands of people every year and also provides habitat for a wide range of bird and animal species.
“It is a fantastic example of the positive lasting legacy the extraction industry can provide for generations to come once operations have finished and is a testament to the management undertaken by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.
“People might not link the Whisby Nature Reserve which exists now with sand and gravel quarrying but the fact is without Lafarge’s excavations on that site the reserve would not have been created.
“Lafarge is immensely proud of its restoration record and it is an honour to receive recognition from such a significant organisation as the BTO.”

Phil Porter, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust Warden at Whisby, said:

“Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust relishes the idea of working with the quarrying industry where opportunities arise for the development of scare habitats on disused sites especially where public access can be accommodated as well.
“WhisbyNaturePark is a fine example of what can be achieved with close working relationships in this area.
“Lafarge are contributing to the retention and increase of biodiversity in Lincolnshire through the availability of worked-out sites such as ours at Whisby.”

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