Restoration - Providing Valuable Natural and Local Amenities
1. Shaping the Landforms
Whether the site is to be restored to agriculture, wildlife habitat or community amenity the first activity is to move overburden materials to reform the landscape, hills, valleys and stream channels. Preparations are also made at this stage for reinstating or creating public access.
2. Preparing the surface
Preserving and reusing subsoil and topsoil is a vital part of restoration. Good soil condition and structure is needed for plants to get established and knowing which crops or grasses to plant at different stages of the restoration enables us to restore a thriving ecosystem.
3. Bringing it to Life
Landscapes are not static but constantly changing. Our restoration plans give vitality to the area being restored and are carefully planned and constructed to take account of drainage and water treatment, specialist habitats and public access.
4. Finishing Touches
Aftercare for former surface mining sites can last for ten years after production has finished.
On some sites we spend years creating woodland areas, or lakes and wetland with hundreds of individually planted reed beds. As these schemes mature, adjustments may be required as nature demonstrates what is likely to work and what is not. Understanding this process and adapting over time is the key to successful restoration.
5. Managing and Maintaining
Restoration plans vary and depend on the long-term aims for the land. Agricultural land is returned to farmers, commercial or residential schemes are developed in conjunction with industry leading partners. When habitat created for wildlife is the primary outcome we work with nature conservation organisations and local authorities to achieve success.
6. ... and finally
There is actually a sixth phase of restoration - maturation - which often passes to those agencies or landowners who take over management of our sites. It takes time for landscapes to reach maturity and there will be gradual change along the way, what we do is give it the best start we can.