Bare rock, either vertical cliffs or quarry floors, holds a
lot of wildlife interest, and is never as bare as it first
looks. Ledges and crevices provide nesting opportunities for
large birds such as the peregrine falcon, kestrel and raven
and also for smaller birds like the house martin, redstart
and wren. Small ledges and crevices provide niches for a range
of small specialist plants and animals such as mosses, lichens,
flowers and rock dwelling snails. Deeper cracks in rocks will
be used as roost sites by bats. Colourful lichens will occupy
well lit rock faces and these in turn are food for molluscs
and many species of moth. These wildlife communities will not
withstand too much shading by trees.
The bare rock of hard rock quarry floors will over time naturally
colonise with flowers, grasses and scrub. In the early days
a unique range of plants and animals are supported. Some plants
can only survive on relatively bare environments and it is
these areas, rapidly warmed up in the sun, which are favoured
by cold blooded invertebrates. When a quarry
floor holds standing water or is wet from seepage different
habitats such as marsh, fen and open water will develop.
The harshness of a recently quarried face can be softened by
sympathetic conservation blasting of gullies and the creation
of rocky slopes at the foot of the face. The variety of structures
provided will be used by wildlife as well a giving a more natural
look to the rock face.
Vertical bare rock and vegetated crevices.
Flowers and grasses on a recently vegetated quarry floor.