Operator: Lafarge Cement UK
When the company that had been extracting fluorspar, barites and limestone at Dirtlow Rake Quarry defaulted on its restoration obligations, the local farmer who owned the land faced a difficult situation.
There was only limited material available to landscape a huge remaining void and the impact on the surrounding countryside of the Peak District National Park was substantial.
Fortunately, the farmer had Lafarge Cement as a neighbour. First, the company organised a huge re-contouring exercise to shift waste material that had been left around the site while preserving a fascinating rock exposure of geological interest. It then transported topsoil from its own quarry and undertook a seeding exercise which has created good grazing land. The restoration took twelve months to complete and in total, around a million tonnes of material was moved.
As a result, an area that was giving major concern to the planning authority has successfully been restored and its visual impact reduced. An information board has also been set up, together with a new permissive public right of way across the completed restoration. Peregrines, skylarks, nightingales and lapwings have all been observed at Dirtlow Rake Quarry.
This is an interesting restoration site and one where Lafarge Cement went well beyond that for which it was liable. All the restored areas are in excellent condition, particularly the grazing land considering the altitude and the possibilities of water logging. The site befits a national park and those who love to wander there.