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  • Writer's pictureElla Frederiksen

Enhancing Biodiversity at Cotswold Natural Stone

Cotswold Natural Stone Ltd is a well-established family-run business, based in the heart of the Cotswolds, that supplies premium natural stone products and services both nationally and internationally.  Cotswold Natural Stone Ltd are committed to their net zero and nature positive ambitions by reducing energy consumption and sympathetically restoring habitat to align with local priorities and maximise biodiversity opportunities on site.

Dry stone walls retained and to be restored on site in keeping with local priority strategies and providing an important habitat for plants and animals and particularly important for lichens, mosses, ferns and a number of invertebrates as well as the occasional nesting bird.

Cotswold Natural Stone's biodiversity challenge

To deliver the restoration of habitats at their Grange Hill site for biodiversity using guiding principles from local biodiversity strategies to sympathetically enhance existing biodiversity and deliver wider environmental benefits where possible.

"Our responsibility to maintain thriving flora and fauna native to the area whilst operating the quarry is important to Cotswold Natural Stone. The Pilio biodiversity assessment is a welcome addition to our environmental strategy." - Luke Conlon, Director, Cotswold Natural Stone

Pilio's solution

Considering the local priorities and the site, Pilio recommended nature opportunities to protect and enhance the existing species and habitats for wildlife, with a particular focus on habitats and species of biodiversity value in the area.

The restoration area will be seeded with a calcareous wildflower and grass seed mix suited to the alkaline soil on site. The restoration will also include a woodland edge area to buffer and enhance priority woodland habitat associated with the Windrush River which flows adjacent to the site and new native species-rich hedgerow will be planted along boundaries with pasture fields and road. Both woodland and hedgerows species to be planted will be those suited to the conditions of site, fast-draining, alkaline soil.  All habitats will be of significant biodiversity value and the variety will provide opportunities for a range of wildlife.

How we worked with Cotswold Natural Stone

Pilio consulted with the client to pinpoint their environmental goals as well as undertaking a site visit.  We considered multiple options for supporting biodiversity on site and spoke about the risks and benefits of each of the opportunities and which actions would align best with the site, the business and the local biodiversity priorities. A report comprising both a desk study and field results was produced to provide an overview of the wider ecological and site contexts as well as local biodiversity strategies and priorities and detailed recommendations on steps to progress the restoration project.

"Having this information to hand as we develop the quarry ensures biodiversity is protected. One of our primary aims is to be a responsible operator which in turn maintains a pleasing environment for our neighbours to continue enjoying Cotswold life." - Greg Bridges, Operations Director, Cotswold Natural Stone

How this work has benefited Cotswold Natural Stone

Cotswold Natural Stone received expert support to progress their nature positive ambitions from suitable species recommendations for hedgerow or woodland plantings and information about habitat management and contacts with local nature conservation bodies to further support them on their journey.

"It is so helpful to have this information to hand with the guidance to ensure we appropriately support and enhance the surrounding ecosystem in harmony with our quarry operation." - Steve Woolf, Health & Safety Officer, Cotswold Natural Stone

The Grange Hill site prior to receiving ecological advice. Check back in the coming years to see the results of Cotswold Natural Stone's biodiversity restoration efforts!


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