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Keywords:

  • – Aftercare;
  • biodiversity;
  • conservation;
  • diversity;
  • ecology;
  • habitat;
  • landfill;
  • restoration

Agricultural grassland is still the most common after-use for landfill sites. This paper examines reasons for considering alternative after-uses. Opportunities for increasing biodiversity should be taken wherever possible and landfill restoration can assist this objective if the correct techniques are used. The paper outlines practical techniques for achieving ecological diversity through landfill restoration aimed at after-uses that include nature conservation and amenity. It emphasises the importance of predevelopment ecological surveys of both species and habitat characteristics. This will identify the essential characteristics of the habitat to be re-created. The suitability and application of a full range of techniques from non-intervention, through techniques that combine intervention and natural development, to habitat creation are described. Techniques for creation and aftercare of species-rich grassland, heathland and wetland habitats are included. The application of such techniques to landfill restoration is assessed using the practical experience of the author. The advisability of planting trees on landfill sites is explored with reference to research carried out by the UK Forestry Commission. The different constraints placed upon landfill restoration as compared with mineral site restoration and the effect of these constraints on restoration for ecological diversity are described.