British Wildlife 11.5 June 2000

The wildlife significance of a former colliery site in Yorkshire

The economic demise of the coal industry in Yorkshire over the last 15 years has resulted in vast areas of abandoned collieries and spoil heaps. Although conventional wisdom has often dismissed these sites as having negligible wildlife interest, the opposite can be the case. The legacy from mining in Yorkshire has temporarily provided us with a mosaic of habitats containing a wealth of wildlife which has become established through natural colonisation. These habitats range from almost bare ground to mature oak-birch woodland. Most significantly, some sites are important breeding areas for rare wading birds.

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