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Five projects to compete in UK section of Quarry Life Award

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World Cement,

Five academic research projects have been selected to compete in the UK section of the 2016 HeidelbergCement Quarry Life Award competitions. Students and academics at Batts Combe quarry, Somerset, Grange Top quarry at Ketton in Rutland, Misson quarry in Nottinghamshire and Craig yr Hesg quarry near Pontypridd will carry out the projects.

The proposals were selected by a judging panel chaired by Martin Crow, UK coordinator for the award scheme. The panel comprised Hanson Aggregates managing director Phil Redmond, Hanson UK principal landscape manager Andy Duncan, Richard Comont from Bumblebee Conservation and Carolyn Jewell from Nature After Minerals, a partnership between Natural England and the RSPB.

Crow said the proposals were all of a high standard and would offer real benefits to the participants, the company and the environment.

Focusing on biodiversity protection and management, the competition raised a very strong interest from students and researchers across the globe. Over 450 proposals from 22 countries were put forward.

The top five selected from each country will carry out their field research over the summer months. Final reports will be submitted at the end of September, with the best three warded cash prizes of up to €5,000. In December, the international jury, which will include experts from conservation and environmental groups, will reward the best projects with prizes of up to €30,000.

“The competition is a fantastic opportunity for students and researchers to have a deeper look at quarries and let their ideas promote biodiversity,” said Daniel Gauthier, HeidelbergCement managing board member. “It is a wonderful way to promote the exceptional biodiversity of our quarries and develop biodiversity management standards in cooperation with leading universities.”

The five UK projects which will be developed over the summer are: 

  • The impact of grassland restoration on the availability of bat prey around Batts Combe quarry by the University of the West of England. 
  • Can drones provide an accurate efficient and safe survey method? To be carried out at Batts Combe quarry by Bath Spa University. 
  • Restored soil health to improve ecosystem services at Grange Top quarry, Ketton, by Cranfield University.
  • The importance of bare ground to invertebrate biodiversity at Misson quarry in Nottinghamshire by Nottingham Trent University. 
  • Emerging technologies to capture habitat potential of abandoned benches at Craig yr Hesg quarry by the University of South Wales.

Adapted from press release by

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