Operator: Tarmac Ltd
Size: 22.9 hectares
Restored to: Nature Conservation/Contribution to Biodiversity, Agriculture and Recreation/Leisure
Hell Pit, a former sand and gravel quarry located in West Norfolk, forms part of Bittering Quarry, which still processes sand and gravel extracted nearby. The 22.9 hectare site is the property of a local landowner.
The site derived its unusual name from a feature in the centre of the area known as Hell Pit, believed to be an ancient gravel working, which is also home to a number of badger sets. This feature and an ancient monument to the east of the site were protected during extraction.
The site has been restored to agricultural land, water and woodland. The landlord uses the site for a variety of purposes from grazing his small herd of highland cattle to amenity purposes, such as fishing and picnicking.
The water body which has been created has an interesting shape and complements the immediate landscape. With shallows, reed beds and a duck feeder, the lake provides a habitat for a diverse range of waterfowl and other birds. The waters themselves are inhabited by a variety of fish species, including include carp, roach, tench and silver bream.
The trees and hedgerows are in excellent condition and are well established. Towards the middle of the site is an area planted for game cover with brambles, nettles, mature trees and shrubs, as well as daffodils and wildflowers.
Hell Pit, though not open to the public, has been restored to a superb standard for nature conservation, wildlife and agriculture and provides much enjoyment to the landowner, his family and his workforce.