Following on from the recent success of achieving the Wildlife Trust’s Biodiversity Benchmark at the Wootton Landfill site in Northamptonshire, Viridor were once again congratulated by the accreditors for the restoration and land management work at the Dimmer Landfill site in Somerset.
Viridor has set the ambitious target of achieving the Biodiversity Benchmark upon twenty landfill sites by 2020 and by doing so represents a significant commitment to biodiversity improvement, restoring and then managing existing wildlife and to recreate new habitats.
The Dimmer Landfill site has been operated by Viridor, one of the leading recycling and renewable energy companies in the UK since 2007 and the majority of the waste has come from households and businesses in the surrounding area as part of the Somerset Waste Partnership. During the restoration phase a number of key species have been identified and habitat management is currently in place. One of these species is the Small Blue butterfly, which has been recorded on the site in very small numbers over the years and it is hoped that it can be firmly established at the site. A wildflower meadow has been developed on the site as a habitat for another priority species, the Shrill Carder bee, which is one of Britain’s most endangered bumblebees.
During the lifetime of the site, every year approximately 100,000 tonnes of residual waste was delivered to the site, that’s the equivalent of 10,000 male African Elephants, and this material filled specially engineered landfill cells that are in some places twenty-two metres deep! Viridor will actively manage the site’s aftercare, ensuring that the landfill gas from the decomposing waste is continues to be harnessed using a gas engines to generate vital renewable power.
Ian Morrish, Director of Landfill Energy for Viridor commented: “Following on from the success of achieving the Biodiversity Benchmark at Wootton in Northamptonshire we are delighted that Dimmer becomes the ninth closed landfill site to achieve this standard. As the way we manage waste in the UK is changing it is vitally important that we appreciate the habitats and land that we have worked with over the previous decades and give wildlife the best possible start in recolonizing these parcels of land.”
Rupert Farthing, Chief Executive of the Carymoor Environmental Trust added: “Over a 20 year period the site has been transformed from a blank canvas to a species-rich nature reserve. It is great to have the recognition of the Biodiversity Benchmark as proof of the success of the project. We are hugely dependent on volunteers and their contribution makes a massive difference, from practical conservation work through to wildlife monitoring. We could not do it without them.
Viridor has worked in partnership and has become the key sponsor on the Dimmer site with Carymoor Environmental Trust, an independent environmental education and nature conservation charity. Carymoor has co-ordinated the habitat restoration programme since 1996. Over 4000 visitors visit the site each year to learn about sustainability issues and to have a first-hand experience of wildlife.”