First phase of Butser Quarry reinstatement commences

TJ has started the reinstatement of Butser Quarry following five years of quarrying at the site. This is the first phase of the reinstatement – there are still several years of quarrying to take place –  but once refilled, the whole site will be returned to arable land.

TJ recently obtained an environmental permit to gain permission to commence infill, which controls the type of waste that can go in. As it is being returned to arable land, only inert soil is permitted.

In order to accommodate the reinstatement and continue quarrying in other parts of the site, the TJ team have worked hard to reconfigure the site to enable this to happen.

Since quarrying commenced at Butser in 2018, over 100,000 tonnes of rock chalk has been extracted. Butser rock chalk is akin to limestone rather than standard chalk, meaning it’s a very strong and hard wearing material. Its strength, versatility, porous quality and cost-effectiveness make it ideal for use in the construction industry.

Our rock chalk is utilised in several forms – crushed chalk, ‘as dug’ chalk, gabion rock chalk and agglime chalk. 

The crushed chalk – or bulk fill rock chalk – is ideal for construction projects as a primary general fill aggregate. It is most commonly used for fill, laid over terram to raise and level natural ground ready for capping and Type 1 sub-base. This is TJ’s most popular chalk product and is great value for money because it is locally sourced whereas alternatives such as limestone, granite and basalt would have to be quarried from the Mendips and Midlands and transported to the South by rail, which leads to inflated cost.

The ‘as dug’ chalk is used as a temporary base or infill for construction projects and works well for these purposes as it is naturally hard. The gabion rock chalk is used within wire baskets as support for soil banks. The agglime part of the chalk is a powder-like material that is spread over agricultural fields to make the ground more fertile.

TJ purchased Butser Quarry in 2017 following a search for sites in Hampshire that would enable us to supply our own aggregates to the construction industry that we’d already built up strong relationships with via the transport and waste disposal arms of the businesses.

TJ Commercial and Operations Manager, Paul Smith said: “The Butser Quarry operations are going well with the first phase of the reinstatement now underway. We have plans to continue quarrying on-site for several years, which will allow us to continue to serve the local construction industry amongst others. Our chalk is popular due to its versatility, strength and affordability and it’s great to be able to source and supply our own materials to our customers.”

Find out more about Butser Quarry and get in touch if you’d like to discuss your chalk requirements with us…

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Steve Grant
22 September 2023