HDA’s involvement in the landscape and visual assessment of the development of this large quarry (204 hectares) in Derbyshire has been ongoing since the 1990s. The high purity dolomitic limestone extracted at the quarry (operated by Tarmac) is burnt in the kilns of the adjoined lime processing plant (operated by Lhoist) for use in refractory products and steel manufacture. There are only two quarries in the UK that produce limestone which is suitable for these specialist uses and both quarries are recognised sources of national importance of this mineral. Other grades of limestone present at the quarry that is not suitable for use in the kilns is used principally to produce agricultural lime and aggregates.
The need to extract different grades of mineral from several locations within the quarry at one time has meant that it has not been possible to undertake as yet, the planned, large-scale restoration of the quarry. HDA forms part of the team which has successfully achieved permissions for the expansion of the quarry into five extension areas, reflecting the complex nature of the resource and kiln requirements. In 2005, a detailed landscape and visual assessment as part of a ROMP application (Review of Old Mineral Planning Permissions) ensured the long term future of the quarry. We have also looked at schemes to improve the visual appearance of the processing plant, including colour schemes as demonstrated by photomontages.
In 2010, HDA undertook an assessment for the removal of the mineral above the tunnel containing the Robin Hood Railway line between Nottingham and Worksop, which currently separates the northern and southern working areas of the quarry. The removal of the mineral would require diversion of the railway line and this provided an opportunity to revise the permitted restoration proposals to make a more unified scheme.
The revised restoration scheme prepared by HDA provided detailed levels, species mixes and areas of habitat creation. This work has included production of ground models to ensure that the proposed restoration contours would be feasible with the material available.