Dorset's Important Geological Sites

Community Liaison Meeting – Swanworth Quarry

On 14 July the annual community liaison meeting took place at Swanworth Quarry which is a DIGS site.

A group of interested people was shown round by Simon Clabburn, a director of Suttles who own the quarry. We were told about current extraction of the Portland Stone, which is largely used for aggregate in local building projects. The company hope to extend the quarrying operations to enable production for another 15-20 years providing a local source of stone and employment.

They also process and recycle inert waste which can be used for landfill. Once quarrying is completed in any part of the quarry restoration work takes place which has been going on since 1997.

The land is restored to limestone grassland which is nationally a rare habitat. Pictures here show the quarrying of Portland Limestone. The overlying Purbeck Beds have no commercial value at this quarry. Other pictures show the restored area. The restoration project includes a plan to retain a rock face exposing the upper part of the sequence. The geology is important as it controls the development of soils and the vegetation!

Three terraces of Portland Limestone extracted for aggregate

Three terraces of Portland Limestone extracted for aggregate

Ladies bedstraw

Ladies bedstraw

Harebells

Harebells