Magical Minera: a limestone landmark
Minera Quarry, a spectacularly situated disused 40ha limestone quarry near Wrexham, is a unique site of outstanding value to both wildlife and people. We want to firstly protect its biodiverse habitats and Scheduled Ancient Monuments, then promote them to and celebrate them with local communities.
January 2017 - December 2017
North Wales Wildlife Trust
Minera Quarry is barely accessible to the public and unmanaged for wildlife. The site is presently being transferred from Tarmac to the Wildlife Trust, but cannot be immediately opened to the local community as it is un-signposted, un-interpreted and in places unsafe. It cannot become a true community asset without an initial investment and, having been left unmanaged for wildlife, the increasing problem of scrub encroachment will engulf much of the special grassland habitats if not addressed.
The project will install essential signage, safety infrastructure and visitor interpretation, and open up access routes around key features of the site. We will hold a series of celebratory events for the local community and visitors from further afield, introducing them to the amazing natural resource on their doorstep and training them in how to help manage it. An initial programme of conservation work will include scrub clearance, planning for grazing and surveying for rare species.
Make Minera Quarry welcoming, safe and accessible as a community resource.
Activities» Install 3 way-marked trails around the quarry.
» Produce relevant visitor interpretation, including signage, a leaflet and artwork.
» Hold 3 community events, celebrating the quarry’s industrial past and its future as a biodiversity hotspot.
» Install health and safety infrastructure (fencing and hazard information signs) at key spots.
Success will be receiving 7,500 site visitors during 2017, with at least 300 attending a community event.
Establish a programme of wildlife conservation measures
Activities» Produce a nature reserve management plan covering the 2017-22 period.
» Hold 12 volunteer work parties designed for members of the local community with varied experience, including scrub clearance and species monitoring.
» Formally establish a grazing regime to benefit wildflowers, including various orchid species, autumn gentian and moonwort.
Success will be an independently measured assessment of the reserve’s overall environmental condition, including increased numbers of key species.
The project will reverse the declining environmental condition of Minera Quarry and transform it into a biodiversity hotspot within a special wider landscape. It will become a key community asset, regularly hosting local schoolchildren, walkers and families and drawing in visitors who will in turn contribute to the local economy.
We will demonstrate success through a long-term monitoring programme against key biodiversity indicators; and an annual increase of 10% in visitor numbers.
There is a risk that community groups could develop competing visions for the site. We have dealt with this risk by already hosting cross-party discussions, building towards documenting a 10-year vision for Minera Quarry.
Further risks relate to the health and safety implications of opening up former quarry workings to the public. We have dealt with this risk by inviting external experts to survey the site and map out the measures that need to be taken at all key hazard points.
Donors to this project will receive a quarterly e-newsletter detailing ongoing and forthcoming activities and any necessary changes that have been made to the project plans. All donors will be invited to the planned series of celebratory events.
Budget - Project Cost: £25,000Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £6,000 Trails Planning/installing 3 way-marked trails £2,250 Signage Design/printing reserve signage £1,250 Leaflet Design/printing 5000 * reserve leaflet £2,000 Artwork Commissioning 2 local artists £1,500 Events Holding 3 community events £5,000 Management plans Preparing nature reserve management plan and grazing regime £3,500 Site management General habitat management work £3,500 Work parties Running 12 work parties, including equipment
Minera Quarry adjoins the village of Minera (population c.1,600), 5 miles from Wrexham (c.62,000). Associated with the extraction of limestone for 200+ years, operations ceased in 1994. Parts of the site have since come to support rare habitats and species; whilst it also incorporates industrial heritage including banks of disused lime kilns, the Hoffmann Kiln complex, and disused railway tracks. Overall, it is a distinctive location of ecological, historical and recreational importance.
The primary beneficiaries are local residents, who will be able to explore areas of Minera Quarry previously off-limits to the public. Community groups are also likely to be able to host outdoor events at the site, which is both big enough and resilient enough to cope with large numbers of visitors at a time. The volunteer work parties will provide opportunities for local young people to consider taking forward a career in conservation and for older residents to get outside and stay healthy.
We are experienced land managers, currently holding 35 nature reserves and maintaining them for wildlife and people. We have extensive contacts in the Minera area, having been working with other local community groups on a vision for the quarry for several years. We are also the only body in formal liaison with the present owners, Tarmac, with formal transfer anticipated by autumn 2016.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Adrian Lloyd Jones
NWWT Conservation Officer, Adrian has 18 years’ experience of wildlife conservation, including management of habitats, species and nature reserves.
NWWT Trustee and a keen volunteer for the last 10 years, Simon is currently the lead NWWT negotiator with Tarmac on the transfer of Minera Quarry.
Mark is the Chair of the Minera Quarry Trust, formed in 2005 specifically to protect the future of Minera Quarry for the local community.
Lloyd is the lead negotiator for Tarmac for Minera, with many years' experience converting extraction sites into nature reserves and community assets.
I am so excited that we have the chance to give this unique and fantastic wildlife haven a long-term future. We look forward to working with those in the local community and beyond to make it a place for all to enjoy and learn about the natural world!