2nd June 2008
Albion Stone plc has quarried the lands of Portland for many years and has always taken a sympathetic approach to the Island and the local people, many of whom play an important role in the works carried out.
The company has pioneered the extraction of Portland Stone using mining rather than quarrying techniques. Inmosthay is the final quarrying site as more and more extraction goes underground. Underground extraction eliminates any disturbance to the surface wildlife.
Three year 'Habitat Management Plans' are currently being prepared with Natural England, 'Recommendations for Jordans Quarry and Inmosthay Quarry South'. These plans set out clear guidelines for the work that Albion Stone will fund that will significantly improve the botanical interest of these important sites.
Work is spread over a period of approximately three years, including herbicide treatment of cotoneaster and dense scrub patches and the creation of bare ground for the 'pioneer calcareous grassland community'. Detailed below are some extracts of the Management Plan prepared by Natural England:
"The stumps of cut scrub will be treated with an herbicide approved by Natural England. Cut and pulled scrub will be burned at agreed burn sites located on areas where dense scrub has previously been removed. Dense scrub will not be undertaken in the bird breeding season (end of March to end of August) should nests be discovered, work in the vicinity will be halted"
Natural England and Albion Stone are aware that failure to complete this work could have potentially serious implications, "butterfly colonies at Jordans and Inmosthay Quarries are now being threatened, principally from the spread of non native cotoneaster and butterfly bush". Albion Stone plc work very hard to ensure the wildlife living in the quarries is protected.
Despite the careful work being carried out, as approved by Natural England, it has been noted that "the regular use of motorbikes within the units is likely to damage the special interest features and should be discouraged". Albion Stone have also taken measures to discourage flytipping on the sites.