Bringing Aggregate Sites to Life and Resources

A suite of downloadable resources have been produced as part of our Bringing Aggregates Sites to Life Project.

Habitats and Species of Principal Importance

The minerals and aggregates industries have an important role to play in delivering national and local Principal Importance targets for habitats and species.

There are enormous opportunities for creating principal importance habitats such as lowland heathland, calcareous grassland and reedbed through site restoration schemes where appropriate (see the Nature After Minerals website for more information). Many rare and scarce invertebrates can benefit from the creation of these habitats, for example the Heath tiger beetle (Cicindela sylvatica) and Silver-studded blue butterfly (Plebejus argus) can colonise restored lowland heathland – particularly the early stages of vegetation establishment.

The latest UKBAP review has address bare ground and early-successional habitat mosaics as a Priority Habitat: Open Habitat Mosaics on Previously Developed Land. Ponds have also been added – both of these habitats are of high value to invertebrates, and can be conserved, enhanced and created through the appropriate management of aggregates and minerals sites.

A number of invertebrates species of principal importance are associated with minerals sites, in particular the bare ground and open mosaic habitats. A species list can be downloaded.


In addition to contributing to the guidance on creating and managing ponds for wildlife in Managing Aggregates Sites for Invertebrates – a best practice guide, Pond Conservation have produced a Pond Creation Toolkit for Aggregate Sites

White-clawed crayfish

Former aggregates and minerals extraction sites can play an important part in conserving one of the UK’s most threatened freshwater invertebrates – the White-clawed crayfish.

Buglife have created White-clawed crayfish guidance, available to download or visit our Crayfish Conservation website

This project was supported by Natural England through Defra’s Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund.

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