Blue green infrastructure on mineral sites

Lord, Richard and Moffat, Andy and Sinnett, Danni and Phillips, Peter and Brignall, Dave and Manning, David; Washbourne, Carla and Wansbury, Claire, eds. (2023) Blue green infrastructure on mineral sites. In: ICE Manual of Blue Green Infrastructure. ICE Publishing, [London]. ISBN 9780727765420 (

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Former mineral extraction sites are a legacy of The UK’s varied geology and industrial history. Together with current operations they offer significant opportunities for formal or informal provision of BGI. Many, such as for construction materials and major infrastructure developments are close to or within expanding urban areas. Mineral sites may naturally cluster and interconnect via former haul roads or mineral railways, providing the connectivity at a landscape scale which is critical to their functionality as BGI. Increasingly they are recognised as a unique opportunity to compensate for habitat loss and address biodiversity goals at landscape scale. The process of creating BGI on former mineral sites is analogous to natural colonisation and succession and there are already well-establish protocols for direct restoration to woodland. The longevity of mineral extraction favours both natural regeneration and seclusion for species, but site conditions may be challenging for habitat creation and any mandated net gains in biodiversity. However, the economic value of minerals resource extraction provides possible funding and leverage through planning towards BGI creation. The key stages for BGI on mineral deposits are described, then case studies are suggested. Permanent woodland and increasing soil carbon stocks could both help to deliver Net Zero.