From open cast mine to nature reserve

This is a video of a red kite in Britain.

From Wildlife Extra:

Transformed open cast mine now a flourishing wildlife haven

Leicestershire benefits from transformation of open cast mine into National forest

September 2012. A restored open cast mine site is proving a massive hit with feathered friends as well as cyclists and walkers according to the latest survey results. More than 100 different bird species have been recorded at Hicks Lodge, which is managed by the Forestry Commission in partnership with The National Forest, including many birds on the decline elsewhere.

Mining ceased in 2000

Mining was carried out on the Leicestershire site between Ashby de la Zouch and Moira from 1980 to 2000. Since then it has been transformed into a flourishing beauty-spot with woodland, wetland, ponds and meadows.

Unusual birds

Experts from the Leicestershire and Rutland Ornithological Society say species recorded include those of ‘breeding concern’ nationally, such as little ringed plover, redshank, common tern and skylark. Cuckoo, red kite and green and great spotted woodpeckers have also been spotted, along with many kinds of water fowl.

To celebrate the Forestry Commission has worked with the Society on a new information panel on the site to help nature fans identify the ever growing number of species.

“We’ve also had short-eared owls over-wintering at Hicks Lodge so it really all adds up to a tremendous reward for all the hard work that has gone into transforming the environment and creating a vibrant mix of habitats,” said Forestry Commission Area Manager Alan Dowell.

National Forest

The Hicks Lodge scheme has also made a major contribution to the development of the National Forest. which spans more than 200 square miles (5,200 hectares) across parts of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire and is one of England’s most ambitious environmental projects.

Russell Parry from the Leicestershire and Rutland and Ornithological Society added: “Our members have been visiting the site more regularly since 2009 and the list of species recorded really is very impressive and shows just what can be achieved by creating the right kind of habitats. We hope to encourage much greater interest and understanding of our wildlife by developing more partnerships with the Forestry Commission and other land owners.”

How to visit Hicks Lodge: here.

Rehabilitating disused old mines into havens of nature: here.

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