Kilwaughter Minerals Ltd takes pride in protecting the local environment by minimising the impact we have on it. Environmental considerations are important to us therefore they play an integral part of business practice.
The Kilwaughter headquarters are based near Larne on the edge of the Antrim Plateau. This is a designated area of outstanding natural beauty so the effect of our operations on biodiversity and the surrounding countryside has always been a major consideration for us.
Over 10 years ago a 50-acre area of land was set aside by Kilwaughter Minerals Ltd. Historically this land had been used for grazing farm animals and subsequently had a limited biodiversity. Kilwaughter took the opportunity to re-establish an area of pristine native woodland and grassland, since then over 20,000 trees have been planted including hazel, beech, oak, ash, scots pine, larch, holly, thorn and Rowan.
The land offers a wide range of habitats with many the trees now well established, there are also areas of open grassland, rivers, and sink holes, as well as good undergrowth for small animals. This has led to an increase in the variety of plant and animal life, the area is home to over 40 species of birds including buzzards, Woodcock, Heron and Dippers. Working in conjunction with RSPB a variety of nest boxes for thrushes, robins and tits where installed in 2015.
A motion detection camera is in place to determine if red squirrels populate the area. Several tonnes of boulders have been placed strategically to provide habitat for smaller mammals and insects to colonise. In addition to creating a natural habitat, the trees also take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and using a conservative estimate we calculated that over a 2000 tonnes of CO2 has been removed since planting started.
The area is carefully managed by Kilwaughter to provide a natural habitat without letting it become overgrown, routine surveys are completed once a month to monitor the variety of species of flora and fauna and to help develop the full potential of the woodland.