Bardon Aggregates' Little Paxton Quarry has been awarded first place in the Conservation category of the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) - British Energy Business Bird Challenge 2008. The biennial competition aims to find the country's best industrial and commercial sites for birds.
The Conservation category allows companies to showcase initiatives which attract birds and demonstrate commitment to conservation.
This is the fourth consecutive competition in which the Quarry has won an award in the Business Bird Challenge. The company's conservation efforts had already been recognised through award of the prestigous Biodiversity Benchmark by The Wildlife Trusts.
Once restored, much of the quarry will become part of the planned extension to Paxton Pits Nature Reserve. Ray Matthews, Chairman of the Friends of Paxton Pits said, "We congratulate Bardon Aggregates on this achievement, and we are delighted to be working with the company to deliver a superlative restoration scheme. When open to visitors, this part of the extended Nature Reserve will be a fabulous birdwatching spot".
Delia Shannon, from Bardon Aggregates, explained: "We are delighted that Little Paxton Quarry has been awarded this prize by the BTO. We pride ourselves on our ongoing commitment to biodiversity, and the fact that so many bird species (165 in 2008) have been spotted in our quarry is evidence that we are delivering on this commitment".
"As part of our restoration plan agreed with the local community, Bardon Aggregates has worked hard to ensure that the site is restored to a high standard that enables wildlife to flourish."
Kate Aldridge, Business Bird Challenge organiser at the BTO said: "The scale and quality of the restoration work carried out by Bardon Aggregates at Little Paxton Quarry is outstanding - in particular, the creation of an 800m long clay bund, which will create attractive habitat for a range of wetland birds".
"What really stood out, however, is the sensitive and reactive way in which the Company has integrated its responsibility for the wildlife using the site, into the management of its operations. Congratulations to all those involved!"
The Director of the BTO, Andy Clements (right), presents the award to (right to left) Ray Matthews (Friends of Paxton Pits Nature Reserve), Delia Shannon (Bardon Aggregates) and Jim Stevenson (Senior Ranger at Paxton Pits).