An old quarry in Leeds, England has become the home of 15 butterfly species and one species of orchid that was actually thought extinct.
However, the Leeds City Council has decided that the quarry can be put to much better use as a golf course, and have okayed plans to fill it in.
Sounds like Leeds could put its members of city council to much better use as well.
Nature fears over plan to transform a disused quarry
Leeds Today Evening Post
21 February 2005
RARE orchids and butterflies are at risk from a plan to fill in a quarry and re-model a golf course.
Precious wildlife inhabits the northern end of Woodhall Quarry at Calverley, Leeds, which was last used 22 years ago.
15 butterfly species have been counted in the 65ft deep section and the
early marsh orchid, which was thought to be extinct, is flourishing in
pools. Conservationists flagged up fears over the survival of all
the species if the quarry was filled in with soil and rubble alongside
an upgrading of the golf course.
Clive Saul, senior
minerals officer for Leeds City Council, said it was proposed to
provide a fenced-off translocation area for wildlife in the southern
half of the quarry.
"Currently, the orchids depend upon the hollows
around the quarry that have become seasonal or permanent ponds," he
told Leeds West plans panel.
"Once a suitable translocation area has
been created, it will be necessary to maintain a clean supply of water
to it and this could be accomplished in several ways."
The Common Spotted orchid would be moved to a suitable area in the recently re-modelled nine-hole golf course.
Saul acknowledged that there would be a risk in transplanting the
orchids but they currently faced destruction anyway from trespassers
and motor-cycle scramblers.
The biodiversity of the site would increase as it matured, he insisted. Susan
Stead, secretary of Bradford Urban Wildlife Group, pleaded
unsuccessfully for the northern half of the quarry to be spared
infilling, saying it would destroy the wildlife.
"There is no
guarantee that species will ‘take’ if they are transplanted," she said.
"Some were recently transplanted at Bingley and did not appear the
"The destruction of the wildlife by motor-cycle
scramblers has been exaggerated," she declared. "They could be kept off
the site with proper management."
The panel, however, approved plans
for quarry infilling and improvement of the golf course. For safety
reasons it placed restrictions on the number of lorries bringing infill
material to the site.