• Speed up the re-growth of trees as the quarry is mined and rehabilitated
• Preserve the ecosystem of large Polish forests and facilitate the reintroduction of animal and plant species into the region
• Speed up handover of the land to the owner, the Polish State Forests - National Forest Holding Company
Lafarge worked in partnership with the Faculty of Forestry at Warsaw University of Life Sciences to develop a new approach to land restoration for sand and gravel deposits covered by forest. This involves removing soil in layers prior to quarrying: a layer of humus and two subsequent layers of soil. These are stored separately during quarrying and then replaced in the correct order once quarrying has finished. Woodchips made of branches and roots from trees felled before quarrying are also added as a natural fertilizer.
This is faster and more effective than the previous method of reclaiming land after quarrying. This consisted of seeding the rehabilitated land with lupine and applying artificial fertilizer.
Our Sępólno gravel pit is situated in the north of Poland, an area covered with forests and with a number of lakes and protected areas. We lease the land for this pit from the National Forest Holding Company, which manages an area of 7.5 million ha of woodland. Fast and effective reforestation after quarrying is therefore very important.
Reforestation is now quicker, more effective and cheaper thanks to this careful management of top-soil and the use of biomass created during tree felling. The initiative has been welcomed by the country's scientific community and we have shared the new technique with our other quarries in Poland that are located in wooded areas.