Trees to transform gravel pit site near Norwich

More than 10,000 trees are being planted at a site near Norwich in a bid to transform a former gravel pit into a natural beauty spot.

Cemex Building Suppliers are planting oaks, silver birch, sweet chestnut and rowan trees at their site in Longwater, Costessey, after extracting 720 thousand tonnes of gravel and sand.

The restoration project has already seen the installation of a pond and four thousand trees – with a further four thousand set to be planted this year.

Alex Finn, senior restoration and arboricultural manager, said: 'We are using all native species for the restoration project at Costessey and our obligation to the local authority is to maintain the plantation for the next five years to make sure they are well established on the site.'

Gravel and sand is still being extracted from the site, but plans are in place to return all the pits to natural habitat in the next three years.

It is hoped the land will provide a spot where wildlife will flourish from a diverse environment of woodland, heathland and wetland.

Steven Spark is the quarry manager at Cemex site in Costessey which has supplied materials to erect buildings in Norwich buildings such as Marks and Spencers, Sainsbury's at Longwater and the Longwater Medical Centre building.

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He said: 'Our aim is that we meet all the targets we need to meet.

'Meanwhile, the next stage of our restoration plan is already progressing.

'We try to help the local community as much as we can and the majority of our materials are used in Norwich construction projects.'

The land, which was used for agricultural before becoming gravel pits, is privately-owned and there are currently no plans to allow public access.

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