Aggregate extraction sites

The aggregates industry has an important role to play in delivering biodiversity benefits on the ground because aggregate extraction sites are one of the few extensive areas, outside nature reserves, where it is possible to easily create clean water ponds.

Both the Minerals Products Association (MPA) and British Aggregates Association (BAA) are project partners. Any new ponds created after August 2008 will count towards the Million Ponds Project target – register your new ponds.

Clean water is a critical element of the project because most countryside ponds are now badly damaged by pollution, and evidence shows that pond wildlife is declining across the UK. Making clean new ponds is one of the simplest and most effective ways to protect freshwater wildlife. Ponds can be created on sites during the restoration phase, or on sites which have already been restored where ponds can be ‘retro-fitted’ as part of management activities. Clean water pond creation should also be integrated in planning applications for future extraction at an early stage.

Pond creation on aggregate extraction sites can be very cost-effective (because earth-moving equipment may already be available on site), and can be integrated as part of any after-use (e.g. nature conservation, amenity, housing).