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Mineral Extraction Impacts NHPP Activity 2D4

Research carried out 2011-2015 on assessing and mitigating the effects of mineral extraction - such as mining, quarrying or marine dredging - on England’s Heritage. This work formed part of the National Heritage Protection Plan.

Photograph showing a landscape created by china clay extraction.
Landscape at Goonvean china clay works, Cornwall © Crown Copyright

Introduction and scope of the activity

Mineral extraction, for example by mining or quarrying, is vital in providing raw materials for development and construction. This includes the traditional materials needed to maintain historic buildings.

The remains of historic mineral extraction processes also now form part of our heritage, such as historic coal mining sites.

However, because of its large scale, modern mineral extraction can also pose a threat to heritage.

Through previous work funded by the former Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund, we already had a good understanding of how extraction of minerals for aggregates can affect our heritage.

This Activity built on that previous work by looking at the effects of the remaining types of extraction that we understood less about. Examples of these types of extraction were:

  • “dimensional” stone (stone intended to be shaped as masonry)
  • coal
  • china clay
  • marine aggregates dredging.

Intended protection results

The Activity helped us to predict what the effects of different types of mineral extraction will be, at a regional or county level. This will enable planning to mitigate negative effects on heritage in advance.

We worked together with those caring for the Historic Environment and with the mineral extraction industries to find new techniques for reducing the effects on our heritage.

Terrestrial Minerals Archaeological Resource Assessments Programme (MARA)

This programme of projects reviewed the archaeological resource in mineral bearing areas. The projects provide critical information for future planning decisions and give preferred options and mitigation strategies for future extraction. Terrestrial Minerals Archaeological Resource Assessments Programme (MARA)

Completed assessments include:

They have provided a much improved platform for strategic decision-making on mineral extraction and archaeology, which has been welcomed by the minerals industry, planners and the historic environment sector.

Links with other NHPP activities

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