Members of the NAM team were delighted to be accompanied by Professor Steve Ormerod – Cardiff University Professor of Ecology and ex-Chairman of the RSPB – at the recent Mineral Products Association (MPA)’s biennial Restoration Awards and MPA Biodiversity Awards in association with Natural England, in London.
The prestigious event was attended by a wide cross section of minerals restoration stakeholders, with representatives from the large national and multi-national operators as well as those from the small-to-medium sized sector; statutory bodies; environmental non-governmental organisations; mineral planners and consultants.
It was heartening to learn of the increasing amount of great work being undertaken to benefit nature and people through restoration work on quarry sites up and down the land, details of which can be viewed on the MPA website. NAM’s Programme Manager, Helen Barnard, was honored to be invited to take part in the judging panel for some of these awards. It was also pleasing to note that multi-party work between stakeholders in the Trent and Tame river valleys and co-ordinated by NAM to promote landscape-scale minerals restoration through the Bigger & Better initiative, was highly commended under the landscape scale category of the Biodiversity Awards.
However, as Professor Ormerod explained in his presentation to a packed room, recent scientific evidence (such as the multi-partnered State of Nature 2016 Report) points to dramatic declines in species numbers across the board. So, we should remain vigilant and continue to work together to enhance biodiversity and offer a refuge for nature, wherever we can. Restoration of mineral sites for a nature conservation outcome represents a golden opportunity for this to be achieved on a potentially landscape scale.
Nature After Minerals,
Charity Number: 207076
Copyright RSPB 2016