Conservation or Greening? The Challenge of Post-industrial Landscapes
The industrial cycle, from extraction through processing and transport to final disposal, is often associated with the destruction of wildlife habitats, but it can also create new and sometimes exceptionally rich areas for wildlife and geological features. Industrial processes have left abandoned spoil heaps and derelict sites for plant and animal colonists. Mineral workings can provide new geological exposures as well as opportunities for natural recolonisation. For example, open-cast mining for coal and clay at Stoney Hill, to the west of Telford in Shropshire, was abandoned in the mid-1960s, leaving deep pools of water surrounded by mounds of acid clays and coal spoil, as well as more basic clays.