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WRAP launches new trailblazer site

The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) hopes that the launch of its first brownfield trailblazer site will use high-quality compost to help establish native plant communities. A former colliery site based at Cronton in Knowsley, was partially restored when major earthworks and tree planting were undertaken in the 1990s.

Since then, the current owner of the 43-hectare site, the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NDWA), has carried out extensive environmental and drainage improvements.

The Land Restoration Trust has been working with the NWDA on proposals for the sites future restoration as public access land within a framework of natural habitats. The Trust is working with WRAP on trials which aim to encourage the establishment of native plant communities on the colliery spoil.

In the trials, more than 400 tonnes of
BSI PAS 100:2005 compost will be applied to help improve nutrient-poor topsoil conditions, which are effectively stalling plant establishment. NWDA infrastructure and development executive director Peter White said: The north west contains approximately 23% of the countrys derelict and under-used land. Developing new solutions to deal with brownfield land remediation in a cost-effective and sustainable manner is therefore clearly important.

We are pleased to be able to provide the opportunity for WRAP to undertake field trials of this innovative soil improvement technique at Cronton.

The trial started in January 2007 and is due to be completed next year in March 2008.
WRAP brownfields key account manager Paul Mathers said: Previous trials have shown that using locally sourced PAS 100 quality compost as a soil improver not only saves transportation and landfill costs but also produces high-quality, fertile soil for sustainable landscaping.

This trailblazer project is taking an innovative approach to the use of compost in brownfield regeneration, as the relatively low but steadily released nutrient content of compost provides ideal and sustainable growing condition for native plant communities, which helps encourage biodiverse ecosystems.


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