1.3 Rescuing Rocks & Overgrown Relics

This is a programme of works to manage rare and valuable habitats across six quarry and mine sites in the Scheme area, which is supported by the WREN Biodiversity Action Fund.

Species recognised as locally, regionally or nationally important have been identified at Earl’s Hill, Nill’s Hill, Poles Coppice, Roman Gravels, the Bog Mine and Snailbeach Mine. These include specific butterflies, such as the grayling, and dragonflies, dormice, reptiles, rare bats and plants.

Follow this link to download more details about the six quarry and mine sites in this project.

In 2015, 2016 and 2017 we ran a series of Marvellous Moths Workshops to trap and record moths at the quarry and mine sites.  Follow the link to see the species and numbers recorded.



Scrub has been removed and pools created in the depressions in the quarry floor at Poles Coppice


Project actions include:

  • Restoring rock outcrop and scree and special (‘Calaminarian’) grassland linked to old mining sites
  • Improving mixed woodland
  • Creating or improving a mosaic of open habitats for variety

For more information please contact John (JP) Brayford.


Moth Trapping events:

2017 Marvellous Moths; species lists

2016 Marvellous Moths; species lists and report

2015 Moth Trap events – species records


Follow the links below for project updates:

Project update, January 2016

Project update, January 2015

Project update, July 2014



2017 Marvellous Moths.  The moth trapping sessions focussed on Nills Hill Quarry, Pontesbury, in 2017.  The exception was 23rd June, at the Bog Mine, the evening before the Hay Meadow Festival.  The moths generated much interest the following day at the Festival.

26th May 2017, Nills Hill Quarry – 112 species recorded (44 new species for the site)

9th June 2017, Nills Hill Quarry – 80 species recorded (24 species new for the site)

23rd June 2017, The Bog Mine – 79 species recorded

30th June 2017, Nills Hill Quarry – 138 species recorded (50 new species for the site)

14th July 2017, Nills Hill Quarry – 131 species recorded (27 new species for the site)

4th August 2017, Nills Hill Quarry – 71 species recorded (15 new species for the site)

8th September 2017, Nills Hill Quarry – final session.



2016 Marvellous Moths; species lists and report

Follow this link to download the Report by David Green.  A total of 282 species were recorded over the 7 sessions in 2016.

“The sessions have greatly exceeded expectations – the species diversity and number of scarce and specialist species recorded is outstanding”


2015 Moth trapping events species recorded:

Click on the links below to download the moth species recorded at each event.

Lobster moth courtesy of Jenny Steel. 3 were recorded at Nills Quarry on 12 June.

Lobster moth courtesy of Jenny Steel. 3 were recorded at Nills Quarry on 12 June.


Project update, January 2016

Habitat management work has continued with the following work completed Jan-March 2016:

Earl’s Hill – Extraction of previously felled timber, removal of bramble / scrub regrowth on previously cleared scree slope. Sensitive removal of vegetation from Rock face.
Snailbeach – Creation of scrapes and removal of seedlings/ exposure of geological samples.
Poles Coppice – earthworks in ‘long’ quarry to create more open water habitat and help control drainage. Creation of scallops along woodland ride.
Nills Quarry – felling trees around quarry faces. Much of this has being completed by Pontesbury P3 Group volunteers.


Project update, January 2015

•All year 1 ecological surveys and reports for the six quarry and mine sites are complete and the results are being collated to inform habitat management works.

• Japanese knotweed control has been completed at Poles Coppice.  Bramble and invasive scrub clearance (ash/sycamore) has been completed at Earl’s Hill.

• 2014/15 winter work completed by contractors has included tree/scrub clearance at Earls Hill with subsequent extraction of some of the timber by horse logger; clearing standing timber and vegetation from two quarry areas at Poles Coppice; and clearance of the White Tip area at Snailbeach mine site (subject to planning consent as the works area is within the Conservation Area).

• We ran a winter 2014/15 programme of volunteer practical task days across the sites and tasks included scrub clearing, coppicing and thinning.


Project update, July 2014

We started our WREN funded ‘Rescuing rocks and overgrown relics‘ (RROR) project at the end of 2013 with a series of ecological surveys, carried out by local professionals. The surveys will run for 12 months up to September 2014 and the survey findings will ensure that we have enough knowledge about the important wildlife found on the 6 RROR sites to be able to plan habitat management works appropriately. Some of the species found on these sites such as dormice, bats and great crested newt are protected species and their habitat needs to be managed with great care.

Practical management work started during Winter 2013/14 at Earl’s Hill to clear vegetation which was encroaching on the natural scree slope and at the Bog mine site to clear encroaching willow scrub from one of the ponds. A further work programme will start in Autumn/Winter 2014/15 across the RROR sites. Nine practical volunteer task days were held at RROR sites during Winter 2013/14 and if you are interested in supporting the conservation work being carried out at these sites, all within the northern part of the Scheme area, please look out for our 2014/15 volunteers programme starting in Autumn 2014.