There seems to be a lot of interest in coal tip biodiversity these days which is adding lots of significant data on local biodiversity and species richness, in a wide spectrum of taxonomic groups. It's nice to see beetles getting some attention.
try searching for beetles as bioindicators in habitats, loads of information/discussion. The spoil tips are fantastic open communities (I guess, I've never looked), pity when they get totally planted up with trees/grass. These are some of our our brownfield sites, I remember when studying Swansea Vale that many of the most diverse dry sites had signs of industry beneath. Would be nice to see some balance between replanting/guerilla gardening/ leaving things to develop naturally. Anyone got a bulldozer I could borrow....NOT a serious request!
It's great to see Liam Olds and his collagues championing coal spoil and producing some excellent high profile work. It's also worth pointing out that there is already a substantial amount of data for local coal spoil sites (particularly plant records) that can be used to better understand the value of this habitat. I agree with Ian that much creative work could be done on planted up sites and in all seriousness a bulldozer is probably the best tool for the job! Also it's clear that more can be done to create new habitats with current and future opencast and restoration schemes. Hopefully the importance and profile of coal spoil wildlife will continue to be raised and pressure put on decision makers to ensure wildlife opportunities are realised.
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