Hard hats and ‘hi vis’ were the order of the day when MP Edward Timpson CBE visited Tarmac’s Crown Farm Quarry in Oakmere.
The MP for Eddisbury was shown around the Quarry where Tarmac extracted sand and gravel – used to supply construction and infrastructure businesses across Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, North Wales and Lancashire.
As well as seeing the operation up-close – including Tarmac’s new dredger – Mr Timpson also witnessed the pioneering restoration work being done at the site to safeguard and enhance the natural habitat for plants and animals.
Mr Timpson said: “It was fascinating to see how raw materials such as sand and gravel – sovital to construction, engineering and manufacturing in Eddisbury, and across the North West – are extracted and prepared for use by business.
“The processes involved – from extraction by Tarmac’s new dredger, through to screening and washing – is truly impressive, and it was a privilege to meet the team at Crown Farm Quarry.
“Tarmac’s conservation work to rewild areas of the quarry after the extraction process is also commendable, and bodes well for the company’s efforts to work sustainably in its areas of operation.”
Crown Farm Quarry is part of the Cheshire Sands cluster of quarries that has been operating for the past 55 years. It supplies high-quality sand to concrete, asphalt, and mortar plants, and also to the general building sands markets.
The Quarry was recognised for these conservation works – along with its commercial partner Atkins – when it received a ‘highly commended’ award in the ‘Project of the Year: Habitat Creation’ category for its biodiversity enhancement in the 2021 Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) BIG Biodiversity Challenge Awards.
The Biodiversity Challenge to “do one thing” invited the construction industry to add at least one new biodiversity enhancement to construction sites, developments or existing buildings.
Tarmac was lauded for work in protecting and promoting wildlife such as the great crested newt and sand martins, among other ground-nesting bird species.
Tarmac works in partnership with the Cheshire Wildlife Trust to restore the previously-quarried areas of the site.
The Trust also runs the Crown Farm Discovery Centre – an on-site educational facility, funded by Tarmac, which educates local schoolchildren about nature and how they can play their part in preserving it for the future.
Steve Williams, Tarmac’s manager at Crown Farm Quarry, said: “We’re very proud of our operational work and biodiversity activity at Crown Farm.
“Together with the local Tarmac team, it was a pleasure to demonstrate this first-hand to Mr Timpson.
“As a business, we work hard to ensure that land is restored to its original condition or an even better state once extractions are completed, by rewilding vast areas.
“So far, this has seen the development of a 17-hectare restored area, which is now a thriving nature reserve that we are proud to manage alongside our local partners, for the benefit of the whole community.”
Picture – Steve Williams, quarry manager, discusses the operation with Edward Timpson, MP, at Crown Farm Quarry.