Ripon City Wetlands, which lies between the Ripon Canal and the River Ure, operated as a working quarry until very recently. Now, managed by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and supported by Aggregate Industries, this large site has been transformed into a nature reserve teeming with wildlife.
The journey from quarry to wetland started in 2003, when Aggregate Industries bought quarrying rights to Brown and Potter, who owned the site. Following a detailed plan from the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Aggregate Industries and the Trust worked with Middlemarch Environmental to design and create a wildlife haven.
The mosaic of habitats at Ripon City Wetlands has been carefully designed to work the best for wildlife. The canal reedbeds were specifically designed to create the maximum amount of reedbed edge for feeding bitterns (secretive birds that are members of the heron family), and the strip of fen meadow that runs along its edge was made by spreading green hay and hand-collected seeds from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s nearby Staveley Nature Reserve. With careful management through late summer cutting, the Trust hopes a wide variety of wildflowers and plants will flourish and create an environment for a variety of insects.
The wetlands are due to be opened to the public on 4 May.
“We are delighted that our quarry has been turned into such a significant place for wildlife,” said Guy Edwards, CEO of Aggregate Industries. “Sustainability and biodiversity and are of the utmost importance to Aggregate Industries, and within that comes the beneficial restoration of sites to benefit the local community and the environment.
“We not only worked closely with Middlemarch Environmental and the Trust to create the reserve initially, we are also committed to maintaining its success through providing funding to help manage the site over the next 50 years.”
“We are looking forward to welcoming the public to Ripon City Wetlands and we are sure they are going to love it,” said Jonathan Leadley, North Regional Manager for Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. “This wonderful new wetland adds to a suite of existing nature reserves along the River Ure corridor, including Nosterfield and High Batts. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust supports the creation of ‘Living Landscapes’ – wildlife habitats that are bigger, better managed, and more joined-up – and, collectively, these nature reserves are the embodiment of that aim.”
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/europe-cis/02052019/aggregate-industries-works-with-yorkshire-wildlife-trust/