Sand and gravel extraction will leave banks and ridges of exposed
bare material. From the human viewpoint these may initially
look uninviting but far from it for wildlife. A wide range
of species rely on areas such as these to survive and where
next to water they support even more. Sandy banks will be burrowed
by rabbits and their holes will in turn be used by nesting
shelduck. Larger sand cliffs will be used by sand martins.
Solitary wasps (not the stinging wasps with which we are all
too familiar) can be seen burrowing into smaller sun soaked
Open sandy cliffs and sparse vegetation of a sand quarry.
A lichen and moss heath on a sand quarry floor.
Ground beetles and wolf spiders need the open ground as they
visually hunt their prey. Ground nesting birds such as oystercatcher
and little ringed plover need open areas near water to build
their nests and rear their young. A range of colonising mosses
and lichens will appear on the nutrient poor exposed sands
before higher vegetation develops.
Not only are open areas like these good for wildlife they are
also excellent areas for people to observe wildlife at close