The River Trent Valley south of Burton-upon-Trent has made a big contribution to the region’s need for sand and gravel. Given the extent of the workings to date and the need to continue, it is important that coordinated restoration contributes to the bigger picture in the area.
Aggregate Industries has been particularly conscious of that imperative in planning a further phase of its Newbold Quarry, which has been operating for more than 50 years.
The new 160-hectare phase now getting underway will release around 13 million tonnes of aggregates. But it will also build on the progressive restoration that has already returned land to farming, woodland and wetland.
The new phase will continue in the same vein and will involve importation of pulverised fuel ash as fill for some areas.
The south east corner will become semi-improved grassland and arable land, with hedgerows restored and extended. Five new lakes will be created for amenity, recreation and nature conservation.
While new planting will join up existing areas of woodland, a permissive footpath and bridleway will form a circular route covering both the new and existing site, and there will be a visitor centre and stables as a focus for long term public enjoyment.
But what’s really significant here is the way in which this large site will contribute to the wider Central Rivers and National Forest initiatives that are between them revitalising the Trent valley around Burton, Lichfield and Tamworth.
Newbold Quarry will make a significant long-term contribution to a sustainable network of wildlife habitats, public amenities and agricultural land.