Hills held an open day at the quarry to give local residents the opportunity to see the quarry operations and gain a better understanding of the preparatory work that is undertaken before mineral extraction begins. The event attracted more than 100 visitors.
A range of display boards (see here) explained Hills’ operations at Mortimer Quarry along with the environmental impact considerations and mitigation measures employed. Visitors were also invited to watch a short video explaining how a quarry works. You can watch this video here.
A representative from Englefield Estate was on hand to explain to visitors the process of commercial forestry operations in the area; and a display of wooden items made from the timber harvested on the Estate was on show alongside a tree harvester.
Other displays included static plant machinery and representatives from both the Mineral Products Association and Thames Valley Archaeological Services were on hand to answer questions about the industry and show off some interesting archaeological finds made in other quarries.
An interactive area was set up to promote the Mineral Product Association’s national Cycle Safe campaign. A Hills vehicle surrounded by life-size cut-outs of cyclists was used to demonstrate to visitors the challenges faced by drivers due to restricted visibility. Visitors were encouraged to ‘change places’ with the driver and get into the cab where they had to complete a check sheet showing which cyclists they could and could not see. The driver was able to share with visitors the training he had undergone to improve his awareness of vulnerable road users and point out the additional equipment installed on all Hills vehicles to improve drivers’ visibility from the cab.
Peter Andrew, Group director of Hills Quarry Products, says: “We are proactive about keeping local people informed and enjoy providing them with an insight into operations which they may not realise are on their doorstep. Everyone at the open day was very interested in the work we are doing here at Mortimer and gave us a lot of positive feedback.”