A RECLAIMED sand and gravel quarry has become an important wildlife haven following a sensitive restoration project.
The former Woodbridge Quarry, near Milfield, has been transformed into a rich wildlife habitat with wetlands and grassland occupying the 114-acre site.
In just five years, the number of bird species recorded at Woodbridge has almost doubled, increasing from 24 species in 2005 to 42 species in 2010.
Grassland and wildflowers have been seeded and are developing on the nutrient-poor soil and when fully established will provide the perfect cover for brown hares, which have been dwindling in numbers nationally but increasing at the restored mineral site.
Sand and gravel extraction has been taking place in the Milfield area by Tarmac since the 1970s with extraction at the Woodbridge Quarry, formerly a disused airfield left over from the Second World War, taking place between 1992 and 2004.
David Feige, an ecologist working for Northumberland County Council, said: “The Woodbridge Quarry site has been, and continues to be, an exciting project for us.
“It was formerly a derelict airfield, it then became a working quarry and as a fitting conclusion it has now been transformed into a tranquil, wildlife haven which is already attracting an abundance of wildlife and will attract even more in the years to come.”
The site will undergo a further 10 years of effective aftercare management which will include significant involvement from county council officers within the monitoring and enforcement section and from the county’s ecologist.