Saturday, 23 July 2011

BTO Awards

Ray Matthews has sent us the latest news about from the Quarry.

Bardon Aggregates’ Little Paxton Quarry has been awarded first place in both the Conservation and Community Involvement categories of the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) - EDF Energy Business Bird Challenge 2010. The biennial competition aims to find the country’s best industrial and commercial sites for birds.

In the Bird Count category, the Quarry recorded a massive 168 species, missing out on the top spot by only 3 species!

The company’s achievements in the Challenge result from a long-standing partnership with the Friends of Paxton Pits and Huntingdonshire District Council Countryside Services.

Kate Aldridge, Challenge Organiser at BTO said "Many industrial sites in this country are havens for wildlife and the BTO - EDF Energy Business Bird Challenge is a wonderful opportunity for the British Trust for Ornithology to showcase what industry is doing to enhance biodiversity. We offer our congratulations to all those involved in the management of Little Paxton Quarry; they are making a major contribution to conservation in the UK and thoroughly deserve this award".

During the year, fencing was completed in order to improve some of the grassland through grazing, an island archipelago was created to double the amount of secure habitat for wading birds, and breeding avocets were spotted on site for the first time. Once restored, much of the quarry will become part of the planned extension to Paxton Pits Nature Reserve.

Ray Matthews, Chair of the Friends of Paxton Pits added "We congratulate Bardon Aggregates on this achievement, and we are delighted to be working with the company to deliver a superlative restoration scheme. When open to visitors, this part of the extended Nature Reserve will be a fabulous birdwatching spot".

Little Paxton Quarry, which has been certified to the Wildlife Trusts' Biodiversity Benchmark since 2008, has also been shortlisted for the inaugural Natural England / Mineral Products Association Biodiversity Awards which will be announced in October. Staff and volunteers hope the site can make the 'triple' this year.