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Historic site is set to become a new home for wildlife in the Wye Valley


Nestlé Waters UK is working with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust to restore an area of Buxton to meadowland.

The Cowdale Quarry will be managed by the Trust on behalf of the water company to regenerate it back to its natural habitat.

The 36-hectare land, owned by Nestlé Waters UK, is just under a mile east from Buxton town on the site of an old quarry, dating back to at least 1600, and includes a grassland in the quarry floor with rock faces where rare limestone-loving plants can thrive and birds including ravens and peregrines could make future homes. The site, made up of meadows and pastures, is hoped to provide more homes for Derbyshire's birds, mammals and flowers.

Recent surveys by the Trust found plants growing rarely found in Derbyshire including quaking grass, harebell, rock-rose and the melancholy thistle, and it is hoped birds such as the song thrush, and local rare plant, the mountain currant, could soon find a home in the area.

Protecting and regenerating the land is part of the vital work Nestlé Waters has been doing in the area to protect the local water cycles for future generations. The extended partnership with the Trust, adopting wild land management, will ensure the land is cared for in a chemical-free manner.

The Nestlé Waters' vision for Cowdale is to increase species diversity, allow common and rare species to flourish as well as enable the regeneration of existing habitats and the creation of new ones.

The project forms part of Nestlé's commitment to regenerating and restoring the planet's resources. Last year Nestlé Waters facility in Buxton was the first site in the UK to achieve the prestigious Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Standard certification with platinum status for outstanding commitment to responsible water policies and initiatives.

Kate Bradshaw, Living Landscapes Officer for Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, said: "This beautiful and peaceful place has huge potential for wildlife and we're honoured that Nestlé Waters have asked us to care for it. It is an exciting opportunity to create a haven for different wildlife, across woodland and grassland and improve flowering meadows as well as wetland areas. Using what we know from looking after other reserves in the Wye Valley and across Derbyshire, we should see an increase in the range and numbers of birds, animals and plants found here over the coming years."

Hayley Lloyd House, Head of Sustainability at Nestlé Waters UK, said: "We are delighted to extend our partnership with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, to manage our land at Cowdale and Lightwood. Working with their team of experts has helped us to understand the ecological environment around our water sources and develop regenerative land management plans. These are long term plans to help protect and regenerate nature on site for years to come, creating places where wildlife can thrive and in turn, nature will continue to inspire local people in the community.

"By doing the right thing above ground, we are also helping to protect what’s underground; the purity of one of the planet’s most precious and greatest assets, water."

The Trust will begin work this year and start by spreading native meadow seed to create a mosaic of flower rich grassland, wood pasture and scrub across the quarry floor. This will improve the site not only for plants but for a range of insects and birds and new wetland areas will encourage insects and wetland loving wildlife including frogs, toads and newts.