Manor Farm nature reserve

A former sand and gravel quarry at Manor Farm, Milton Keynes, which has been transformed into a floodplain forest nature reserve, was officially opened by celebrity farmer and BBC Countryfile presenter Adam Henson.

He told a group of more than 60 people at the opening ceremony that the project was a great example of business and conservation groups working together to promote biodiversity. “Hanson and the Parks Trust, which owns the land, have done a fantastic job here and can be proud of what has been achieved,” he said. “The fact that the site floods from the River Great Ouse is an important feature of the habitat, and is also beneficial to the wider community because the floodplain now has increased holding capacity.”

Mineral extraction at Manor Farm began in 2007 and was completed in 2013. The restoration scheme, which was designed by our own in-house team in collaboration with the Parks Trust, has created a mosaic of water channels, pools, marshy areas and islands. These are becoming colonised by wildlife and will develop into a diverse ecosystem providing habitat for many different species.

The 48 hectare site, which has full public access, has also unearthed a number of archaeological finds helping to create a picture of how it might have looked in the Neolithic age over 6,000 years ago.