HeidelbergCement announced the International winners of the Quarry Life Awards at a ceremony in Germany this week, where renowned primatologist Dr Jane Goodall DBE gave a speech on her “reasons for hope”. The competition was set up by the cement manufacturer in order to encourage ideas for the promotion and protection of biodiversity at its quarry sites. The contest took place on both a national and international level. Winners of the top three projects in each country received €1500, €3000 and €5000, while the best three international projects won €10 000, €20 00 and €30 000. The top three international prizes went to:
- First place: ‘Sand Pit for Biodiversity at CEP II Quarry’, carried out by researchers from the University of South Bohemia in the Czech Republic and from the environmental organisation Calla. The project involved mapping out the habitats around the quarry and recording the organisms found there. The study found that the undisturbed development of the shorelines at extraction zones could lead to a higher number of species than reforestation to the edge of the pit. This led to new ideas and methods in quarry conservation, supporting the notion that leaving sites to recover naturally can also provide sanctuaries for endangered species.
- Second place: ‘The potentials of Pennisetum purpurem as a biological geotextile in stabilising slopes to promote biodiversity in reclaiming quarry sites’, by a research team led by Paul Nsiah at Sunyani Campus, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science Technology. By carrying out investigations at Yongwa Quarry in Ghana, they found that surface erosion due to heavy rain could be reduced through the use of mats woven from elephant grass. As the grass grows in the local area, weaving the maps could potentially provide a new form of income for local workers.
- Third place: ‘Restoration of quarry silt lagoons for wader conservation at Wykeham’ by researchers from the University of Hull, led by Philip Wheeler. This project investigated the constellation of wading bird species in the UK’s Wykeham pits and how the composition of sand deposits affects species diversity. The findings have the potential to enhance habitats used by birds during migration.
Daniel Gauthier, international jury member and HeidelbergCement Managing Board Member for Environmental Sustainability, also mentioned some of the other exceptional projects in his welcoming address at the ceremony. These included: ‘Reclaiming Bjørntvet – A Sustainable Afterlife for a Hard Rock Quarry’ by Mats Larsen in Norway for ‘Best Design’; pupils form Heinrich Kaim School in Schelklingen, Germany, were recognised as ‘Ambassadors for Biodiversity’ for their project on ‘Herbal Tea from the Quarry’; and ‘Best Community Outreach’ went to Belgian researchers for their ‘Green Quarry’ project.
Adapted from press release by Louise Fordham.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/europe-cis/14122012/cement_quarry_life_awards_winners_heidelbergcement_170/