Haven on the heath

PUBLISHED: 11:37 22 March 2007 | UPDATED: 11:43 06 May 2010

Where the wildlife sanctuary will emerge

Where the wildlife sanctuary will emerge

A disused quarry is to be turned into a wildlife haven for the public to enjoy. The RSPB, Lafarge and Bedfordshire County Council have linked up to create the new habitat at the Sandy Heath quarry. The county council s mineral planning experts are advisin

A disused quarry is to be turned into a wildlife haven for the public to enjoy.

The RSPB, Lafarge and Bedfordshire County Council have linked up to create the new habitat at the Sandy Heath quarry.

The county council's mineral planning experts are advising on plans to ensure that the former quarry near the Sandy Heath transmitter becomes a wildlife area attracting many species of birds, insects and other animals.

Some areas have already been replanted and access for the public is likely to be available soon.

The site is already home to the spider hunting wasp but other wildlife will be encouraged to make the old quarry their habitat.

Andrew Waters, spokesman for the RSPB at its nearby Sandy headquarters, said of the exciting plan: "Mineral site preservation often provides large scale opportunities to create special places that make a substantial contribution to wildlife conservation, both locally and nationally.

"Sandy Heath quarry is being turned back to a landscape of heather and grasslands, packed with unique and beautiful plants, insects and birds. Imagine hearing the purr of a nightjar hunting across the quarry on a warm summer's evening.

"It is also a great opportunity to improve the quality of life for local communities. Footpaths, education trips and events at the quarry will hopefully inspire people about the environment and enable them to recharge physically and spiritually.

"Our strong relationship with the county council, Lafarge and local communities is establishing a heathland landscape that will be the envy of many."

Cllr John Scott, Bedfordshire County Council cabinet member for planning and economic growth, said: "Spider hunting wasps are just one of the interesting insects that have made this 145-acre site their home.

"Eventually three bridleways will follow the valleys across the quarry site. When the county council grants planning permission for minerals extractions in Bedfordshire, we want to ensure that aggregates firms turn their attention to recreating first class wildlife habitats and public amenity sites when the digging has finished.


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