Operator: Lafarge Aggregates Ltd
Size: 15.6 hectares
Restored to: Nature Conservation/Contribution to Biodiversity and Agriculture
Between 1976 and 2005 the 15.6 hectare restoration site at Charing Sand Pit in Kent was operated to extract and process building and concreting sand. 2.5 million tonnes of sand was worked in total.
The restoration has created grazing and wet grassland in the base of the quarry with the steep-sided banks graded and planted with native trees and shrubs.
Planting of woodland began before 1991 to screen the site from Newlands Road and Newlands Farm and carried on progressively as areas of the quarry were worked. There are now mature trees on the Southern and Eastern Slopes, with only the Western slopes, where the plant was located, containing young trees and shrubs. The tree species include oak, hawthorn, ash, Italian alder, dog rose and silver birch.
Following the removal of the processing plant this area was re-graded and seeded with a grass mixture containing fescues, flattened meadow grass and bents.
The wet area or “winter lake” is a pleasing feature, with self-generating rushes, which attracts ducks. Drainage ditches have also been diverted and are interesting nature conservation features.
The concrete entrance road to the former quarry has been left to provide access for maintenance and footpaths have been created on the site which link with others in the local area.
The restoration at Charing Sand Pit has created an interesting local habitat for a variety of fauna and flora, with excellent views of mature wooded slopes for those who use its footpaths.