Description: 

Criggion is a hardstone (high Polished Stone Value dolerite) quarry mainly used in the road construction industry. The quarry is situated approximately 10km north-east of Welshpool in Powys, Wales. 

The quarry is located within the Breidden Hills SSSI, a site designated primarily because of the presence of rare flora and unusual acidic grassland habitat. The management aims for the part of the SSSI within the quarry area is to re-introduce and encourage the populations of rare plant species and communities. The management aims for the part of the SSSI within the quarry area is to re-introduce and encourage the populations of rare plant species and communities. This will be achieved in 2 ways, firstly by re-introduction and secondly by management. Seed has been collected from rarities already on site and propagated before being re-introduced on the restored benches. Management to remove trees and scrub that shade the crags is also undertaken. The acid grassland community in the quarry will also be maintained by removing encroaching trees and scrub. Rock faces will be cleared to create the open habitats suitable for the rarities. Elsewhere, woodland, with the inclusion of elm will further add to biodiversity. Woodland will be linked with hedgerows as habitat corridors. On final restoration nutrient poor species rich grassland will be created on the quarry floor as well as small ponds and wetland areas.  

 

Habitat, flora & fauna description: 

Within the boundary of the site habitats include ‘Saum’ with rarities, heath/acid grassland, bare rock with bryophyte and lichens, rock faces, woodland, hedgerows, ponds and nutrient poor species rich grassland. Saum is a zone that occurs between tall scrub and grazed grassland and it can be a locus for several rare and scarce plants. Rare plants include rock cinquefoil Potentilla rupestris, spiked speedwell Veronica spicata and sticky catchfly Lychnis viscaria (now Silene viscaria) and have been the focus of the seed collection, propagation and planting out on the finished benches. There are also several notable species of whitebeam present including Sorbus stirtoniana, which is endemic to Breidden.