Operator: Lafarge Aggregates Ltd
The Lyng Quarry site is situated close to the River Wensum, a designated SSSI. The quarry operated between 1956 and 2006, producing graded stone and sharp sand. Further extensions were permitted on land owned by a local family, who were keen for restoration to enhance the area’s nature conservation value.
Leech Pit Wood used to be a poor stand of conifers and broadleaved woodland which was felled following an appeal for sand and gravel extraction. The area has now been restored to two attractive fishing lakes which provide islands, bays, peninsulas, shingle beaches, wet grassland margins and stretches of marginal reed beds.
About five hectares of broadleaved woodland has also been planted on previously filled land, where trees such as Oak, Wild Cherry and Ash have progressed exceptionally well. This more than compensates for the loss of Leech Pit Wood, as it also provides rides where vegetation and fauna can thrive, and a new hedgerow has also been planted. In addition, several individual mature Oak and Holly trees have been retained, as well as their surrounding vegetation which includes Twyblade orchids.
The lake in the south east corner of the site has rafts for birds which come all the year round. Some of the new lake margins have been left to revegetate naturally which, with the reeds, has created an excellent habitat for invertebrates and plant life.
This site represents an excellent example of how a sensitive restoration design and careful liaison between the landowner, the Local Wildlife Trust and the quarry company can produce an after-use which is of great beauty, benefits nature conservation, and can be appreciated by the public.