A wide spectrum of wildlife can be supported by the natural
habitats which can be created by sensitive quarry restoration.
Sand and gravel extraction sites can be restored to reedbed, swamp and fen ,
open water, wet woodland, grazing marsh, and
open bare ground. Limestone quarry sites can be restored to
flower rich grassland, bare rock and cliffs, ash woodland and
if the base of the quarry is wet or has seepages the above habitats
can be supplemented by marsh and fen and perhaps open water.
Basalt and other acid rock quarries as well as sand workings can present the opportunity to restore or create lowland heathland.
Reed-swamp and open water habitats at a gravel quarry site.
Flowers, trees and bare rock habitat on a limestone quarry site.
Each of these major habitat types will support a characteristic
range of plant and animal species many of which could not survive
without that habitat and the other plants and animals that live
within it. The dependencies are numerous. For example, there
are lichens that only grow in limestone crevices; there are
snails that only feed on lichens; and beetles that only eat
snails and so on . . .
The transition zones between various habitats are perhaps as important as the habitats themselves. For example the edges and glades of woodland are used by our woodland butterflies and by birds for nesting and feeding. There are many ducks which feed in open water but nest in the vegetation at the swampy margins. These ‘ecotones’ and the structures and micro-habitats in the habitats provide the variation that is so important to support a diverse range of wildlife.