a mineral extractor
Why does biodiversity matter?
'Minerals sites have the potential to enhance biodiversity and to provide a public benefit at the end of their working lives through restoration. Demand for minerals in England is ongoing, with the location of extraction defined by underlying geology.' From Nature After Minerals
What can you do?
All mineral planning is the responsibility of the relevant Mineral Planning Authority and all mineral extraction sites must be restored by the operator to a beneficial end-use which can include habitat creation .
Restoring mineral sites for wildlife can create wonderful places for people to enjoy and learn about the natural world. Where geological features of interest are unearthed, incorporating these into the restoration can add to the interest and educational value of the site further .
Existing mineral extraction permissions
Many active permissions already have detailed restoration plans in place. These can be difficult to alter, especially where restoration has been progressive. However, there are still plenty of existing permissions without a detailed restoration plan or even an agreed end-use for the site . Where this is the case, and the site offers the potential to support priority wildlife habitat, discussing this possibility with the operator, landowner and Mineral Planning Authority at the earliest possible stage can yield an opportunity for habitat creation.
Future extraction areas
The new strategic planning documents for minerals are key opportunities for habitat creation. The spatial and strategic (usually county) nature of the new Mineral and Waste Development Frameworks (MDF) makes them ideal for considering which sites are most appropriate for habitat creation, and which habitats would be most appropriate at particular locations.
Close collaboration between stakeholders (including landowners, mineral extraction companies, conservation organisations and the local community) in the development of an MDF can make the most of this opportunity to deliver new habitats.