DEAN GREEN TEAM

Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean

Gloucestershire

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31 January 2017

Shakemantle Quarry

Grid Ref SO651113

 

It is over five years since we last went to Shakemantle Quarry to do scrub clearance from the quarry floor to expose rock formations and benefit invertebrates requiring open conditions. Our task was to remove as much as possible of trees and foliage that were beginning to swamp some areas previously being important butterfly habitats.The main culprits were thiuja trees which had seeded and germinated against the quarry sides creating a solid wall in some areas.

This quarry has been disused since the ealy 1970s. The famous Forest of Dean 'Monocline' or 'Monolift' which is a tremendous fault that upends the strata in this area can be seen here where the quarrying exposed it to view. Also near by was the site of the Shakemantle Iron Mine operated up until approx 1910 by the Crawshay Family of South Wales.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the quarry floor the work was to clear the small birch but there was more maturing silver birch to be removed as well. This was duly done and by the end of a very wet day there was a really noticeable opening up of the area we had worked on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sides of the quarry have very fast growing Thuja trees. The genus Thuja, like many other forms of conifers, is represented by ancestral forms in Cretaceous rocks of northern Europe, and with the advance of time is found to migrate from northerly to more southerly regions, until during Pliocene time it disappeared from Europe.

 

 

 

 

This is the view from the top of the quarry.

Cotoneaster was just beginning to get a foothold on the upper level, so
this too was cut and burned.