Carymoor Environmental Trust

Habitat creation after landfill

Carymoor has sought to develop as wide a range of habitats as reasonably achievable across the post-landfill landscape of the Dimmer landfill site. Landfill engineering over the last 30 years has become much more rigorous, with stringent controls over emissions. The capped surface is therefore appropriate for a range of habitat restoration schemes. Just the sheer number of landfill sites across the country presents excellent opportunities for habitat restoration, especially as these areas will rarely have commercial value as agricultural or building land.

Grasslands are perhaps the most obvious and achievable objectives of habitat creation on post-landfill as they are not generally affected by the depth of the clay capping from the landfill mass. However, woodland and wetland creation projects are often feasible as long as the clay cap exceeds 1-metre in depth. And cleaving to the homily "nature abhors a vacuum", raw clay surfaces without topsoil will quickly develop a "natural" range of wildlife communities, colonizing and exploiting micro-topographies, with bare and sparse vegetation development an important early successional feature.


The year 2010 was the UN International Year of biodiversity; a global drive to enhance public awareness of the importance of conserving biodiversity and of the underlying threats to biodiversity. For a number of years now, Carymoor has sought to build plant collections which exemplify the many aspects of biodiversity, including the Carymoor Tree Trail; a kilometre long walk lined by all our native shrub and tree species, along with a selection of naturalized and landscape trees. Of course, the impact of mankind on biodiversity is not always negative. Our other two plant collections exemplify the positive interactions between plants and people. The Carymoor Willow Walk taps into the theme of Somerset's heritage involved with willow cultivation. Selective breeding for certain craft characteristics has led to a huge range of willow cultivars derived from a relatively small number of species. The collection provides a guide to the manifold shapes, sizes and colours of willow. In a similar vein, the Carymoor Orchard displays a wide range of apple varieties local to Somerset's orcharding heritage, which follows the ancient narrative of man using a stem species - in this case from Central Asia - and propagating on characters such as cold-hardiness and fruit palatability to suit our prevailing weather conditions and mores.