After-use of the quarries: Opportunities for people and nature
The quarries in the Beckum cement district - they are indispensable sources of raw materials for the local cement industry and are at the same time typical, characteristic landscape features. However, limestone quarrying also means massive interventions in the soil, water balance, nature and landscape. At first glance, these are insurmountable opposites, but at second glance, quarries also offer opportunities for future development. Where else can invigorating water bodies be created in the landscape, where else can you still find raw soils that can develop largely undisturbed.
But quarries offer even more: former excavations - such as the one between Beckum and Neubeckum - can be used for business and housing, local recreation and agriculture, leisure and nature. The city of Beckum has been aware of its responsibility for decades and has always sought cooperation with the local cement industry in order to jointly develop a coordinated concept for subsequent use. This so-called overall recultivation plan was then the basis for the further development of the excavation areas.
Quarries occupy 15 per cent of the area
This strategy has worked well since 1980. As requirements and environmental conditions continued to develop (for example, the need for agricultural land in former quarries was declining, but the need for local recreation and nature conservation areas increased sharply), the plan was revised in 2000 together with many stakeholders.
The city's current overall reclamation plan covers approximately 1660 ha of former, current and future excavation areas. This corresponds to 15 percent of the city's total area. This figure alone underlines the importance of the quarries for urban and landscape development. The overall reclamation presents coordinated goals for subsequent use for the current and future quarrying areas, for example:
- Residential development with quiet local recreation in the area between Neubeckumer Straße and Oelder Straße (which is currently being partially filled in accordingly),
- Nature conservation and agricultural land in the area of the Friedrichshorst quarry,
- Areas for nature conservation and landscape protection in the area of the excavations of the Phoenix and Cemex companies, Mersmann plant.
Diverse models of after-use
Numerous examples in Beckum already show that this path can be successfully followed. In the Vellern and Hellbach quarries, nature is in the foreground, as it is already in the still active Friedrichshorst quarry. Recreational use is concentrated at Tuttenbrocksee, and quiet local recreation at Rolandsee. The quarry areas at Grüner Weg today constitute the Grüner Weg industrial park.
In the former West Quarry, a building area was created on the outskirts of the settlement, with solar housing and low-energy houses, with near-natural green spaces and recreational areas, linked to the city and the landscape via cycle paths and footpaths. The rest of the site was carefully recultivated with two lakes and diverse succession areas and left to develop on its own. Here, conditions were created for many new habitats for flora and fauna, but people were not excluded, but consciously integrated through (quiet) recreational opportunities.
There is great interest in the development of the quarries, in their subsequent use, and in the nature and landscape conservation practised there. Acceptance is growing among the population. The quarries in Beckum are thus filled with life - they offer opportunities for people and nature.