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TWIRLS: Treating Waste for Restoring Land Sustainability

Royal Welsh Show 2006

The TWIRLS project at the Royal Welsh Show 2006

A slate waste tip confronted visitors to this year’s Royal Welsh Show Builth Wells in July 2006. It was built by TWIRLS project staff from the University of Wales, Bangor, to demonstrate methods that they’re using to restore bare quarry waste with Welsh heathland and broadleaf woodland.

The tip demonstrates that when used carefully, wastes that would normally be sent to landfill can be composted and used to create habitats of high biodiversity. The TWIRLS team are also keen to highlight the conservation value of slate quarries, which can contain rare plants, insects and birds (including chough and peregrine falcon) and industrial features such as inclines and water balances. The tip was constructed using 7 tonnes of hardcore and 4 tonnes of blocky slate waste from Penrhyn quarry, Bethesda and was then planted with native species including oak, rowan and alder using composts made from garden waste and paper pulp (a by-product of recycling paper).

The TWIRLS display at the Royal Welsh Show in Builth Wells, Mid Wales

Display materials inside the marquee included soil and insects from the TWIRLS trial site in Shotton, an EcoPOD in-vessel composter and a 3 m TWIRLS / Alfred McAlpine display panel.