Upland Limestone

Richard and Elna Harland
Local residents and members of the Open Spaces Society

The argument against quarries:
We have to accept that the existing quarries will run their course, run the extent of their existing planning permissions. A number of the quarries are already time-limited in that way; they will gradually fade out. There are still some big ones which are not time limited - we’d like to see any extensions of those quarries refused permission from the National Park Authority. Certainly no new quarry should every be permitted within the National Park.

Living near a quarry:
The view which was once a beautiful, green, limestone hill is now just a great gash in the landscape with lots of heavy machinery and heavy equipment on it. It’s obliterated in smoke and dust…lime dust.

How quarried stone is used:
This limestone is incredibly pure - especially the limestone from the reef knolls. It’s limestone of chemical quality. And yet looking at the figures for the National Park as a whole - these are the latest figures, they’re from 1993 - they show that 97.8% of the limestone quarried goes for aggregate of various kinds, and only 2.2% goes for what I regard as proper, chemical uses. By aggregate I mean roadstone, concrete aggregate, filling material, other constructional uses. This precious limestone which can never be restored and never found again is being used for those aggregate purposes.

Loss of flora:
There’s one other loss that we suffer when quarrying takes place and that’s the flora, the flowers that grow on limestone. It’s a very special flora in this part of the country - it doesn’t grow on anything except on limestone. Old people who grew up in this area as children talk about going to pick the cowslips and the primroses and the orchids in springtime and they’re just disappearing so much because so much of the land is disappearing from quarrying.