Spain - Enhancing biodiversity through quarry restoration

Toledo
Cement / Spain

Lafarge has transformed part of its former Yepes-Ciruelos quarry near Toledo into a nature reserve. It has become a habitat for protected species from the Spanish Peninsula and a refuge for pollinating honeybees.

 

Objectives

  • Identify the most interesting habitats and species
  • Help to accelerate their arrival on restored land through restoration management
  • Promote environmental awareness among the general public

Summary

Lafarge has developed an ambitious restoration plan for the Yepes-Ciruelos quarry, transforming it into a nature reserve. The rehabilitation plan took into account the findings of biodiversity studies and involved work with academic experts, NGOs and local government. The University of Castilla La Mancha's Botany Department carried out research to monitor the changes in habitats and how biodiversity improves following rehabilitation. This helped us to understand how to recreate certain habitats on restored land, allowing the development of a large number of different species.
Bees were reintroduced into part of the site, to allow the pollination of numerous plant species. This helped to restore and protect local fauna.
The nature reserve today includes a 2.5 km2 enclave exclusively reserved for university research work. We have also created a botanical and bird field observation path, along with a cycle track and visitors' and education center.
The former limestone quarry extends over 600 ha in Castilla La Mancha, Toledo, in a semi-arid part of Spain.

    Results

    Today, there are more than 190 vascular plant species recorded inside the rehabilitated quarry, some of them classified as having high ecological importance. A honey-harvesting activity has also been established, from the many bees reintroduced onto the site.

       
       

      Lafarge quarry rehabilitation in Spain - the Biodiversity case study in details (pdf, 454.91 KB)