Restoration, Aftercare and After-use of Extraction Sites
The extraction programme can have a major impact on the historic environment. Inappropriate restoration, aftercare and after-use also have the potential to have major adverse impacts on the setting of heritage assets and may significantly reduce the ‘legibility’ of the landscape and its historic character.
Mining and quarrying are highly visible. Steps can be taken to hide sites (reduce this visibility) through effective mitigation. And in some circumstances changes made to the landscape are potentially reversible.
Returning the land to agricultural use, or creating or enhancing sites for nature conservation and recreational use are typical objectives for the site. When planning ahead, it is important that the setting of heritage assets, the historic character of landscape and the archaeology of the former extraction site itself are also given due consideration.
Landscape characterisation techniques can inform decision-making, enabling restoration to reflect or harmonise with the character of the surrounding landscape. The results of archaeological investigation, in advance of and during extraction programmes, can provide evidence of past land use that can help to inform decisions on appropriate future land use.
Bear in mind that changes to the character, significance and value of places can be more readily apparent and tangible than the irreversible removal of buried archaeological deposits.