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From quarry to oasis
IT was once a hive of industry.
Now this former quarry has been transformed into an award-winning green oasis.
Developers of the renovated Ibsley Quarry in the New Forest scooped a prize at a prestigious European environmental awards ceremony.
Site owner Lafarge Tarmac clinched the Cooper Heyman Cup at the Restoration and Biodiversity Awards.
More than two million tonnes of sand and gravel was excavated from the 36-hectare site near Ringwood between 1991 and 2008.
Since then it has been restored to open water conservation lakes, wetland and grasslands, linking it to the Blashford Lakes and the surrounding Avon Valley. It has provided a haven for birds and animals such as wildfowl and breeding waders and bird watchers can observe them from three hides next to the public footpath.
Lafarge estates manager Andy Cadell said: “It’s a triumph for the company, its employees and members of the community who have all contributed to the cause with enthusiasm and passion.”
The awards, hosted by the Mineral Product Association, were hosted at the Royal Society in London and hailed examples of quarry restorations and wildlife conservation in Europe.
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