No stone left unturned

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A QUARRY in a Doncaster village has earned a top environmental award despite the constant disturbance of diggers and trucks.

Landscaping manufacturer Marshalls has been recognised for its conservation and biodiversity work at its site in Stainton, which now boasts more than 100 species of bird.

The biodiversity plan has been so successful it will be extended to the firm’s other quarries next year.

Marshalls won the Company Commitment to Biodiversity and Nature Conservation award and was highly commended by the judges at the Natural England Biodiversity Awards for its efforts overall.

The awards honour those who make a positive contribution to natural habitats and have enhanced biodiversity as a direct result.

Marshalls were nominated for the awards based on work carried out at Stainton quarry, which in 2007 became the first in the UK to be accredited to the Wildlife Trust Biodiversity Benchmark.

Marshalls has since achieved the benchmark at two other quarries – one in Derbyshire and another in Wales.

The Stainton site is still fully operational and Marshalls has ensured that the impact on wildlife has remained minimal during extraction.

The sustainability team has achieved this through carrying out surveys to monitor biodiversity levels and using the results to enhance and protect wildlife.

Their data is shared with Doncaster Council and entered into the ecological records.

This gathering of information has resulted in numerous projects and initiatives to help increase wildlife levels on site.

For example, employees have turned an old water sump with little ecological value into a haven for dragonflies and common toads and have improved the habitat of two ponds for amphibians.

Bat boxes have also been erected among the deciduous mixed woodland so that bats can live in the area undisturbed by activity on site.

The total number of different bird species recorded on site since 2005 now stands at around 110. And the rare Yellow Star of Bethlehem flower has increased from only one in 2006 to 20 last year.