A conceptual approach to an integrated environmental management plan

This looks like an excessive goal, but it relies on a quite simple conceptual framework:, just three components:

  • Landscape dynamics
  • Quarry activity and processes
  • Societal issues

Each factor operates simultaneously at different scales.  For example, the temporal ponds of the quarry are essential for the reproduction of  the Natterjack Toad (Bufo calamita). But when you know that this one is the only pond within a radius of 5km; the issue is about species fragmentation at regional level. And the same for the economic and infrastructural implications (in our case, the construction of the high velocity railway).

Each component is, of course, a plethora of different factors and issues. And the challenge of this methodological approach is to translate to an operational framework the interaction of these three factors.

A very first approach could be the third image that shows different interactions and different levels of intensity of management needs.

So, it is not just about creating nice proposals of management and habitat creation on the final phase of the quarry: it’s about creating a new methodology that could be simple, easy to understand and easy to apply. We hope so!