Quarry Products Association of Northern Ireland
Biodiversity Advice and Resources for the Aggregates Industry

Our Nature with Aggregates seeks to assist the industry in optimising biodiversity and geodiversity opportunities on aggregates sites in Northern Ireland.

QPANI endeavers to share best practice information and advice on biodiversity, geodiversity, restoration, habitat and species conservation.

"Communicate best practice management for biodiversity and geodiversity including working procedures to maintain and enhance the extent of habitats and species in and around aggregate sites (with regard to any restoration plans and planning requirements already in place), with priority given to those holding UK and NI BAP Priority Species, Species of Conservation Concern and locally important species."

Download available resources and links to best practice in the Aggregates Industry:



    Click to download the Peatland Restoration Guidelines.

A publication produced by the Peatland and Upland Biodiversity Delivery Group, QPANI and the Biodiversity Officer's Fourm.

Guidelines for Peatland Restoration

Guidance for the restoration of peatland on aggregate sites, wind farms, former commercial peat extraction and ex-forestry sites.

QPANI is a member of the Peatlands and Uplands Biodiversity Delivery Group and the Biodiversity Officer’s Forum. Together we have commission guidance on Peatland restoration for aggregate sites, wind farms, commercial peat extraction and ex-forestry sites. The aim is to reinstate an ecologically functioning Peatland habitat for the benefit of biodiversity, although other aims can include creation of a working carbon sink, for example. The aim carries with it a number of objectives that will vary for different sites and assists readers to write a restoration plan for a site giving scenarios and options.


Guidelines for Peatland Restoration (240KB)

Link to the Peatland and Uplands Biodiversity Delivery Group (opens a new webpage)



  Click to download - EC Guidance: Undertaking Non-Energy Extractive Activities In Accordance With Natura 2000 Requirements.

A publication by the European Commission. July 2010

EC Guidance: Undertaking Non-Energy Extractive Activities In Accordance With Natura 2000 Requirements


The EU Habitats and Birds Directives are the cornerstones of the Europe’s biodiversity policy. At their heart lies the creation of a network of sites designed to safeguard Europe’s rarest and most endangered species and habitat types – the Natura 2000 Network.


The purpose of this document is to provide guidance on how best to ensure that Non-Energy Extractive Industry (NEEI) developments are compatible with the provisions of the two EU Directives. It focuses in particular on the procedures to follow under Article 6 and provides clarifications on certain key aspects of this approval process in the context of NEEI developments in particular.


The document has been written in close collaboration with representatives of different industry sectors, experts, public authorities and NGOs via a dedicated EC Working Group. It is designed principally for use by competent authorities and developers, as well as consultants, site managers and other practitioners who are involved in the planning, design, implementation or approval of mineral plans or NEEI projects. It is hoped that it will also be of interest to other organisations such as NGOs and international bodies, and the general public.


Non-Energy Extractive and Natura 2000 (4.6MB)


Wise Use of Waterpublication was jointly launched by NIEA and QPANI at the Industy's Environment Conference in October 2008.

A publication produced by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and QPANI.

Wise Use of Water

Guidance for Wise Use of Water in the Aggregates and Quarry Industry Northern Ireland

The document is written in five sections, each section focusing on a particular water related topic. The first section focuses on water and why it should be managed, the second section on pollution prevention, and the third on discharge consent compliance monitoring and maintenance, the fourth on the importance of water for biodiversity. The last section gives key recommendations. Links are made to Pollution Prevention Guidelines (PPGs) and related information including the NIEA's Water Calculation Tools.

Loughs Agency provided guidance on The Importance of Our Natural Rivers detailing their ongoing programmes of habitat improvement works and public money spend. The Loughs Agency wish to work with QPANI in developing partnerships and education rather than being a purely based regulator and looks forward to any proposal or suggestions from within the industry.

The key message emanating from this document is that "effective water management within the quarry will deliver both environmental and commercial benefits to the business".


Guidance for the Wise Use of Water in the Aggregates and Quarry Industry Northern Ireland (2.0MB)

Importance of our Natural Rivers (4.05MB)

Click to download the Pond Conservation Tool Kit for Aggregate Sites

Pond Conservation

Pond Creation Tool Kit for Aggregate Sites

Pond Conservation is the national charity dedicated to creating and protecting ponds and the wildlife they support.


In 2007, ponds were added to the list of priority habitats in the UK BAP. The Pond Creation Toolkit for Aggregate Sites provides advice on all aspects of pond creation. The focus is on pond creation as part of the restoration of aggregate extraction sites, but much of the information produced will be of use to a range of professionals and the public.

QPANI welcomes the detailed guidance from Pond Conservation and will endeavour members' to work with partner Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) to provide information and advice.

Click here to jump to the Pond Creation Tool Kit



Managing Aggregate Sites for Invertebrates:

a best practice guide.

Buglife-The Invertebrate Conservation Trust is the first organisation in Europe devoted to the conservation of all invertebrates; aim is to halt the extinction of invertebrate species and to achieve sustainable populations of invertebrates.

A number of UKBAP invertebrates are associated with minerals sites, in particular the bare ground and open mosaic habitats. Natural regeneration from bare soils can provide habitat of high ecological value. QPANI seek to explore this option in the design of restoration schemes to benefit local biodiversity and will liaise with industy, planners, EHS and NGOs.

Click here to jump to Buglife resources for the aggregates industry.

Click to download RSPB Nature After Minerals document

RSPB Nature After Minerals

Detailed guidance about UK Priority Habitats and creation techniques. Highlights the contribution the minerals industry in England could make to UK BAP habitat creation targets and addressing the delivery of this potential contribution with an interactive website that provides guidance and advice to the industry to the industry on habitat creation end-uses.

QPANI welcomes the advice and guidance from the RSPB, and to develop and promote the Nature After Minerals Project in Northern Ireland.


Click here to jump to Invasive Species Ireland website.

Invasive Species Ireland

Invasive non-native plant and animal species are the second greatest threat to biodiversity worldwide after habitat destruction. They can negatively impact on native species, can transform habitats and threaten whole ecosystems causing serious problems to the environment and the economy.

Best Practice Management Guidance Documents are available for terrestrial and freshwater habitats. The documents give site managers/owners the information needed to successfully and methodically manage/eradicate these high impact invasive alien species.

Invasive non-native species of concern to QPANI members' are Giant hogweed, Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam and Zebra mussel (Lough Neagh Sand Traders).


Click here to jump to Sustainable Aggregates Website and Resources.

Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF)

Over the past six years, the ALSF has initiated a host of research projects that have generated a much better understanding of sustainability within the industry and the ways in which it can be achieved.

This website provides access to the twelve reviews and facilitates links to related research and projects. The reviews have been grouped under four key themes:

Theme 1 - Reducing the Environmental Effect

Theme 2 - Sustainable Provision of Aggregates

Theme 3 - Creating Environmental Improvements

Theme 4 - Heritage



    NIEA Guidance on Development and Archaeology

NIEA Guidance on Development and Archaeology

An NIEA Guidance Booklet for the satisfaction of archaeology issues in planning conditions in Northern Ireland.

Download: NIEA Guidance on Development and Archaeology (PDF 449KB)

On this NIEA Built Heritage Map Viewer Website you can view the locations of built heritage sites from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) based on mapping provided by OS®NI

    NIEA Guidance on Bats and Development

NIEA Guidance on Bats and Development

This booklet aims to provide basic advice for developers, planning officers and others that may come across bat issues relating to planning. It provides information on bat species in Northern Ireland, the likely pitfalls of unconsidered development and current associated mandatory protective legislation.

It provides a framework for providing adequate measures to protect all bat species from the possible negative consequences of development. As every case is different this information is not considered to be a substitute for expert advice which should always be sought from a bat expert as early as possible in the planning process, especially if it is suspected that a bat roost may be present.

Download: NIEA Guidance on Bats and Development (PDF 1.4mb)






Our Nature with Aggregates Strategy focuses on the themes of Awareness, Action, Involvement and Partnership to conserve and enhance our biodiversity and geodiversity.

            Our Nature with Aggregates Strategy (click to download)

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