Behind the scenes at the Quarry

A few weeks ago we made one of our annual visits to Birkhams Quarry, just outside Whitehaven.

As part of their planning permission the quarry operator is required to restore areas of the quarry once they have finished being worked for stone.

At the end of 2016 topsoil from elsewhere on site was spread over the first area of restoration.  The decision was made not to use plug plants or seed the restoration area but to let it vegetate naturally using the seeds already in the topsoil.

This summer we’ve worked at the site with local volunteers doing a variety of jobs recording the species we find on site and beginning to remove plants such as bracken, nettle, dock and thistle.  If left unchecked these could become dominant and shade out the wildflowers and grasses we want to encourage. The restoration area is developing nicely and the variety of species that have already established is encouraging.

On our last visit in June 2018 we found:


Birds foot trefoil

Bluebell sp



Broad leaved dock


Bush vetch


Cocks foot

Common nettle

Common sorrel

Creeping thistle

Creeping buttercup

Devils bit scabious


Germander speedwell


Herb Robert


Hop trefoil

Lesser celandine

Meadow foxtail


Ribwort plantain

Sheep sorrel


Spear thistle

Speedwell sp


White clover

Wood vetch

Willowherb sp


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