Friday, 5 December 2014

Before and After

The Green Moor Quarry RIGS after cleaning and rock netting

Having completed the recording of the geological features seen at the Green Moor Quarry RIGS, I waited another month before I returned to photograph the site with its rock netting.

The UK Government’s objectives for planning are to conserve, enhance and restore the diversity of England’s geology and to contribute to a “better quality of life and to people’s well-being”.

Boston Park - a missed opportunity for Geoconservation?
I generally agree with these sentiments; however, in my experience, even when spectacular geological sites are owned and managed by the local authority, their conservation has been low priority.

Without financial resources and full support of the landowner, it is not always easy to put ideas into action.

In more than 20 years since I have been involved with Geoconservation, I have visited countless quarries - both active and redundant - throughout the British Islands and there are only a very few where I would feel comfortable, with a fully exposed rock face hanging over my back garden.
A few examples of rock outcrops in private gardens

From the outset, the developer was keen to enhance the old Green Moor Quarry site and, just by removing the old waste material that had been left behind when the quarry was abandoned 80 years ago, the appearance of the site has been improved considerably. 

Dry stone walling in perfect harmony with the Greenmoor Rock
Having discovered much better places where the Greenmoor Rock can be seen, as well as being accessible by the general public - as at Green Moor Delph and Hunshelf Bank - I thought that there was a very good case for deselecting the Green Moor Quarry RIGS and removing it entirely from planning control. As such, I think that the developer bent over backwards to incorporate the site into the housing estate, with the provision of a viewing point and access for management.

Stoneway Manor

I was paid well for my work to help rejuvenate the old Green Moor Quarry - and some people might say that I am a gamekeeper turned poacher - but I think that a good practical common sense approach was adopted for the development of this site and that the resulting housing estate constitutes a significant  environmental improvement.  

Views of the old Green Moor Quarry before redevelopment