Quarry Landscape Design Competition

In 2015, one of Worcestershire County Council's elected Councillors and Cabinet Members, Mrs Sheila Blagg, sponsored a competition to encourage innovative proposals for how sand and gravel pits could be restored and subsequently used.

Councillor Blagg believes the time is right to re-examine the restoration of sand and gravel pits in the UK, placing an emphasis not just on restoring them to a state capable of beneficial afteruse but to demonstrate their potential.

  • How could restored sites contribute more, not only to the social and recreational life of their locality, but also to their long term economic and environmental sustainability?
  • How can they be designed to be more easily managed? How can a wider range of uses and activities be encouraged to make use of them?
  • How can they be converted from being the after effect of extraction into economically viable and self-sustaining systems?
  • How, in short, can we revitalise mineral restoration and afteruse as a multi-functional resource?

The competition asked entrants to send their realistic ideas for the restoration and after use of an imaginary sand and gravel pit to inspire actual restorations in future.

Joint winners Landscape Matters and One Creative Environments Ltd

Councillor Sheila Blagg, judges Mark Stefan and Jane Patton with competition winners One Creative Environments Ltd and Landscape Matters

The aim of the competition was to:

  • Inspire innovative land reinstatements
  • Generate community benefits after extraction has finished
  • Create business opportunities for landowners
  • Provide debate about both what is good practice.

The competition looked for schemes with:

  • An economic role, contributing to a strong, responsive, competitive economy
  • A social role, supporting vibrant and healthy communities
  • An economic role, protecting and enhancing our natural habitat or historic environment.

Seven submissions were received, of which four were shortlisted.

All the entries are available to view here as inspiration for future minerals development, restoration and after-use schemes. However, they should not be interpreted as schemes which the County Council in its role as Mineral Planning Authority endorses, and any future planning application will be considered on its own merits.

Joint 1st Prize:

3rd Prize:


Long List: