United Kingdom – Restoration of Kaolin Quarries
Restore the landscape of mid-Cornwall’s clay mining regions for the benefit of both the environment and the community
The woodland project was a post-mining restoration project. It aimed to restore the landscape of the china clay area in Cornwall. It followed on from the Heathland Project. From 1997 to 2004, 750 hectares of lowland heath land – another endangered habitat - was restored on former mining sites. Together, the two projects formed the biggest initiative of their kind in Europe.
Imerys Minerals Ltd. was a key partner in the 31/2-year program that involved planting a million trees. Under the Woodland Project, tips and surrounding areas on former mining sites were planted with native broadleaved species to restore biodiversity and improve the landscape. Upland oak and ash woodland had been identified as an endangered habitat in the United Kingdom. To restore the sites, “non native” or commercially planted species were removed and oak, ash and other native hardwoods reintroduced. These deciduous trees open up the woodland floor, enabling wildlife to flourish.
This made a substantial improvement to the local landscape and makes a valuable contribution by Imerys to the re-creation of local biodiversity. The total budget for the project was £2.5 M. This project had many funding sources, the principle ones being Objective One, DEFRA and Imerys. Imerys’ contribution was approx. £0.5M made up of contributions in kind whereby Imerys carried out landscaping activities as a part of the project.
Creation and management of 400 ha of new woodland, and 460 ha of restoration of existing woodland and, conversion of existing tree belts to native broadleaved trees, plus the creation of 18 kms of new access routes increasing community access. It is hoped that as the woodland becomes established there will be economic opportunities for small businesses e.g. crafts, wood fuel suppliers etc.