A RESEARCH project investigating the link between sand lizard breeding habits has scooped top awards.
The biodiversity project, carried out by a team of students from Bath Spa University at Hanson’s Masters sand quarry in Dorset, won the UK research stream of the Quarry Life Award 2022.
The project, which investigated the sand properties required for sand lizard breeding to inform the creation of receptor sites, claimed the £5,000 first prize at an awards ceremony held at Hanson’s former sand and gravel quarry at Middleton Hall, Tamworth.
This year is the fifth time Hanson’s parent company Heidelberg Materials has held the Quarry Life Award, which is run every three years in more than 20 countries.
The research stream of the competition, aimed principally at academics, scientists and research groups, focuses on scientific projects that increase knowledge of quarry-specific ecology and/or lead to improved biodiversity, landscape, or water management. The Bath Spa University project investigated the existing habitats at Hanson’s Masters site with the potential to support nationally important populations of the rare sand lizard, aiming to create, restore and enhance appropriate areas within the quarry for breeding, including suitable sand for egg laying. The project also impressed the judges of the international award, winning the Habitat and Species category at the ceremony hosted by Heidelberg Materials in Brussels and scooping a further €10,000 in prize money.
Stewart Jones, Hanson’s national sustainability manager, said: “The judges felt that the Bath Spa University project was robust, transferable and delivered biodiversity value to the quarry and to science.”