The Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF) came into existence on the 1st April 2002, at the same time as the introduction of the aggregates levy itself. The primary aim of the Fund was to reduce the environmental impacts of the extraction of aggregates and to deliver benefits to areas subject to these impacts. Since 2002, the Earth Heritage Trust has received substantial amounts of funding from ALSF. Such initiatives have included a number of new geology and landscape trails; geodiversity audits of the two counties and production of geodiversity action plans. Four projects that have received recent funding from ALSF in order to deliver benefits to areas that have been subject to aggregates extraction are outlined below:
Whitmans Hill Geodiversity Discovery Venture (2005-07)
In 2005, a ten year lease was obtained by the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust. Following the completion of extensive safety and face clearance works, the site has been used as an educational and research resource, with a busy schedule of events and activities. A steering group from the local community was involved in the project. More information can be found here.
Broadway Quarry Feasibility Study (2009-10)
Situated on the edge of the Cotswold escarpment above the village of Broadway, Broadway Quarry is a designated Local Geological Site (LGS). The quarry was subject to a detailed and widespread feasibility study into its future use and management upon restoration. This included the creation of a local stakeholder group. The restoration plan includes the retention of a geological face and the recreation of an area of lowland calcareous grassland in the quarry floor. The study drew up some recommendations to take forward, as well as some generic guidance for other quarry operators and organisations when looking at the post-restoration management of an aggregate site with a high nature conservation interest. The study can be found here.
The outputs of the project were to produce a booklet on the aggregates along the Geopark Way trail, to develop three new circular walks leading from the main trail and to print the geology map of the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark (drawn by the British Geological Survey). During the 18 months of the project, improvements have been made at several locations along the length of the trail, including signage along the entire route. A Geopark Way Trail Watch Scheme, in which local volunteers assess the condition of the trail on a biannual basis, has become fully established. Throughout the project, communities and individuals along the route became involved in study and research at their local aggregates sites, visited other sites along the trail, and gained further understanding of their local geology and the merits of geo-conservation.
Funding was obtained to produce site management plans for six former aggregate sites being used as part of the larger Community Earth Heritage Champions Project. These included geological, biological, archaeological and landscape sections. Site improvement works were also carried out at two sites to allow easier and safer access. Interpretation materials have also been developed for the six sites including leaflets and interpretation panels.
Links to the site descriptions for these sites can be found below:
Barnt Green Road Quarry, Worcestershire
Callow Hill Quarry, Worcestershire
Linton Quarry, Herefordshire
Quarry north of King Arthur’s Cave & King Arthur’s Cave, Herefordshire
Shaver’s End Quarry, Worcestershire
Warren Lane Quarry, Worcestershire
Site descriptions for other aggregate Champions sites:
Abberley Hall East, Worcestershire
Croft Castle quarries, Herefordshire
Dingle Quarry, Worcestershire
Gardiners Quarry, Herefordshire
Martley Rock, Worcestershire
Rudge End Quarry, Herefordshire
Westminster Bank Quarry, Worcestershire
Whitman’s Hill Quarry, Herefordshire