Tice’s Meadow nature reserve opened

Farnham town mayor Mike Hodge officially opened the Tice’s Meadow nature reserve on a former Hanson sand and gravel quarry at Badshot Lea near Farnham on May 4.

More than 40 people representing community groups, conservation bodies and local government attended the opening of the 55 hectare site, which coincided with the Tice’s Meadow management committee’s ‘Bioblitz’ weekend involving local wildlife groups, schools and individuals carrying out a nature survey to gain a picture of the species colonising the restored quarry site.

The quarry first opened in the mid-nineties and closed in 2010. Since then a great deal of work has been done to restore the site to a community nature reserve. The missing links were two footbridges over the river Blackwater which are now in place and effectively complete the restoration phase.

Hanson UK chief executive Daniel Cooper, who attend the opening, said: “This is an important day for Hanson and for nature conservation. It demonstrates the enormous benefits that can be derived from working together, and the value that responsible mineral extraction can bring, both to the built environment through our products, and to biodiversity and nature conservation through what we can create and leave behind.

“It really has been a fantastic example of progress through partnership and I would like to thank the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership, the Tice’s Meadow Bird Group and in particular Richard Horton and Mark Elsoffer for the tremendous work they have done.

“We have also had great support from Surrey County Council, in particular their Principal Environmental Enhancement Officer Simon Elson, who has set the scene and been admirably patient when necessary.

“We recognise that quarrying, like farming, forestry and other rural activities, can have an impact on the countryside. But this project shows that we can make a very positive contribution to the UK’s landscape, its wildlife, its habitats and its biodiversity and we can all take pride in what has been achieved.”