Elford Quarry was an historic sand and gravel quarry. JPE took over operations in 2005/2006 in order to complete extraction and provide a combined agricultural and nature conservation restoration scheme, enabling long-term sustainable land-use and aftercare for a c. 40ha area of land. By working with the new agricultural land owner, restoration was achieved in 2014, with the Site now in aftercare and agricultural use.
JPE have successfully created a high quality multi-functional restored sand and gravel Site. Elford Quarry has been restored with a c. 29ha of agricultural land, inclusive of ecological diverse species-rich conservation grasslands, provisions of restored gravel lakes (high in nature conservation interest with potential for recreational angling) and areas of diverse species-rich woodland, hedgerows and ditches. Elford Quarry is an excellent example of how sand and gravel Sites can be restored combining agricultural, recreational and nature conservation interest.
Key restoration principles included:
- Restoring the Site to the required landform and providing for restoration soils inclusive of on-Site soil processing, recovery, remediation and manufacture.
- Retention of existing woodland and open water areas within the Site.
- Restoring the remaining land to a mix of (dry and wet) conservation grassland and pasture suitable for low intensity agriculture/grazing (over 20ha of land, in addition to more productive agricultural land (c. 9ha).
- Restoring the Site to be in keeping with the landscape character of the area, including a review of field sizes and species of local provenance.
- Grassland wildflower species to enhance the wider landscape, including for Yellow Rattle, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Selfheal, Common Sorrel and a range of other locally important species, supporting diverse wildlife in the area.
- Ensuring a high degree of nature conservation and ecological value at the Site.