The limestone quarry in Tunstead owes its location to major geological changes that took place over 300 million years ago when the area was covered by a warm, shallow sea. During the Carboniferous period, the water levels dropped and millions of shells and marine organism skeletons were left behind; the Carboniferous limestone that is quarried today was formed from these deposits.
The limestone is an extremely pure source of calcium carbonate which is used in many different manufacturing processes.
There are two main types of limestone at Tunstead- the high purity Chee Tor stone and Woo Dale stone which is less pure and used for construction purposes.
The Tunstead Quarry lies within Derbyshire immediately adjacent to the boundary of the Peak District National Park. However, much of the remainder of the site, including the majority of Old Moor Quarry lies within the Peak District National Park.
Progressive restoration has been underway throughout recent quarry development operations. Biodiversity management projects have been implemented as part of a Biodiversity Management Plan since 2007.
In June 2014, we conducted a review to outline the extent to which progressive restoration and biodiversity management initiatives undertaken at Tunstead and Old Moor Quarries have had a beneficial effect on the natural environment of the locality.
For all of the areas identified in this review, the habitat types developed through progressive restoration provide direct or indirect support for habitat conservation targets set out within the Peak District National Park Biodiversity Action Plan.
In addition, a number of species conservation targets identified by the Peak District National Park also benefit from the effect of progressive restoration and biodiversity management at Tunstead and Old Moor Quarries.
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