Operator: Tarmac Ltd
Woodbridge Quarry was entered as an exemplar of Tarmac’s comprehensive Biodiversity Action Plan which they have produced for all their Northumberland quarries. Extensive areas of UK and LBAP habitat have been created, including 12 hectares of lowland meadow with permanent and ephemeral wetlands, in an area where sand and gravel used to be extracted.
1,200 metres of hedge and 5,400 native trees have been planted, along with the creation of 16 ponds, ephemeral wetlands, swamp and a series of open mosaic habitats. The habitat is not manicured, and is left to develop naturally in many places, although some specific steps have been taken - such as creating pebbly areas for oystercatcher nesting. A bird hide has also been built.
Tarmac has established a Biodiversity Management System (BMS) which has been awarded Biodiversity Benchmark status by The Wildlife Trusts. The BMS incorporates a species recording system, impact assessment and implementation plan which enables changes in the status of BAP priority habitats and species to be monitored. Quarry Staff have been trained to do this monitoring.
There are partnerships with the Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Natural England and the county ecologist. Unusually, Tarmac is a member of the NE England Regional BAP Targets Working Group, and is a joint lead partner for the lowland acid grassland habitat. There are also partnerships with local schools, through their Schools Biodiversity Challenge, and with local villages.
Priority BAP Species to be found at this site include the brown hare, otter, common toad, curlew, lapwing, snipe, grey partridge, skylark, tree sparrow and yellow wagtail.