Harehope Quarry nature reserve continues to develop with a little help from the project but mainly through the unstoppable forces of nature. Habitats are developing naturally and the project continues to provide a space for people to enjoy within these natural changes that are occurring
Many of the Juniper trees are now 10 years old and have become well established on the southern faces of the quarry, although rabbits remain a problem. A recent wildflower survey has identified a large number of species and highlighted the need to introduce a grazing regime on the grassy areas of the quarry to maintain and further improve this diversity.
Little, tawny and barn owls all appear to be thriving in and around the quarry and 2008 saw our first oystercatchers successfully nest on the living roof of the eco-classroom. Jackdaw numbers, however, are posing a threat to our nesting waders and may need management in the future. The visiting otter are still more content to eat the fish in the river and ponds than use the otter holt that has been provided for them!
The partnership between the Harehope Quarry Project and Frosterley Angling Club appears to be going from strength to strength with fishing tuition taking place in the quarry and the anglers keeping a watchful eye over the place at dawn and dusk. The fishing club have reported regular sightings of otter and possibly even water vole!
The project continues to maintain the bird hide and pond dipping platform, which is a battle with the higher river levels we now seem to suffer. The walks leaflets, story trails and sticker trail, which are available at the entrance to the quarry are very popular with visitors and the permissive path network appears well used by groups of walkers as well as individuals.
The project would love to hear of sightings from visitors, so if you hear or see anything unusual please contact us via our website. We are particularly keen to confirm sightings of the water vole!