On 8 December 2016, the winners of the International Quarry Life Award were presented in Brussels, Belgium. This was the third edition of this bi-annual competition established by HeidelbergCement to explore innovative ideas to promote biodiversity at quarry sites.
More than 450 proposals from 21 countries were submitted in 2016, of which 94 were selected for the competition in different categories: Habitat and species research, Biodiversity management, Education and raising awareness, Beyond quarry borders, and the Student project.
The Quarry Life Awards 2016 winners included:
Grand Prize (EUR30,000)
Linking quarries and surroundings by restoration ecology for semi-aquatic mammals
The Grand Prize was awarded to a Spanish team led by Dr Rocío de Torre Ceijas. The
project investigated the ecological connectivity of waterbodies in gravel quarries and how to
enhance this connectivity to the quarry’s surroundings for a positive effect on biodiversity.
The researchers used otters as a bio-indicator because of their habitat needs.
International prizes by category (EUR10,000)
Habitat & species research – Arthropod & earthworm diversity as a bio-indicator for reclamation success
A project team in Indonesia investigated the use of arthropods and earthworms as bio-indicators of habitat complexity to evaluate the success of woodland creation activities in the Hambalang quarry.
Project leader: Wahyudi Nelvianto, Indonesia
Student project – Nature only works if we do it together - Students “understand” insects and biodiversity
A group of pupils from Evangelische Grundschule Holzdorf learned about wild bees and their role in the ecosystem. Through the project, they built a bee hotel, tended a wildflower meadow and developed an information board about bees with the help of recovering addicts from HEPORÖ GmbH.
Project leader: Elisabeth von Campenhausen, Germany
Biodiversity management – Optimising wetland functions to local conditions in connection to quarries
This project, led by Emma Svahn, at the Cementa Degerhamn limestone quarry in Sweden analysed the effectiveness of an artificial pond and adjacent wetland at retaining water and nutrients from water pumped out of the quarry back into the alvar landscape. Based on their study, the team made recommendations for developing a multifunctional wetland focussing on nutrient retention and the resultant positive effect on biodiversity.
Education and raising awareness - Biodiversity in space and time
Russia's Yanina Dmitrakova led a project that assessed the habitats and biodiversity of the Pechurki quarry and aimed to attract public attention as well as raising awareness of biodiversity conservation activities. To achieve this, the team delivered more than 70 eco-lessons, performed quarry tours, attended conferences, engaged with the media, created an animated video and even organised their own essay and photographic competitions.
Beyond quarry borders - Stepping ponds - enhancement of connectivity for amphibians in riverside gravel pits
This project evaluated the potential of gravel pits to improve and increase landscape
connectivity for amphibians, one of the most globally-threatened taxa due to diminished
habitats. The team made recommendations on creating corridors to connect water bodies,
how to inhibit the spread of the invasive exotic red swamp crayfish and advice to foster the
natterjack toad population.
Project leader: Daniel Gómez de Zamora Martínez, Spain