Hanson faced quite a problem at its Repton Quarry in Derbyshire when the closure of older coal fired power stations meant that the supply of pulverised fuel ash for fill dried up.
With agriculture as the previously approved end use, the quarrying process had left a series of deep and regularly shaped cells awaiting PFA. A major re-think was needed and a new scheme was developed to create a range of wetland habitats, which also reflected the new priorities of the planning authority. The man who was given the task was landscape architect David Southgate.
The success of the re-think is clear to see with an intricate mosaic of habitats from meadows through to wet woodland and from reed beds through to open water and re-instated brook. The ecological diversity in a relatively small site is massive and contributes to the landscape scale enhancement of the biodiversity of the Trent Valley.
With the land forming work done, the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust took on the further development and management of the reserve. The success to date can be gauged from the fact that it has achieved its first target of persuading bittern to over winter here. Declining species like lapwing and redshank are now breeding in the wet grassland and little ringed plover are happy in the gravel areas. There are also now large populations of reed bed species like cetti’s warbler, reed warbler and sedge warbler. The reserve is very accessible and highly popular with local walkers and birdwatchers.