Landscape restoration of the Cuchía quarry

Solvay Torrelavega has generated a rich ecosystem of over 60 hectares in what was previously its main source of limestone.

  Torrelavega_Cuchia Click to enlarge

Solvay Torrelavega has restored the countryside around the Cuchía quarry, transforming what used to be its main source of limestone into an area of moorland featuring native vegetation and animal life. Over a thousand bushes and trees, along with lagoons, ponds and paths, now populate an ecosystem of great natural value covering 60 hectares.

From 1927 to 2006, Cuchía was Solvay Torrelavega’s prime source of limestone (calcium carbonate, one of the raw materials in the production of soda ash). With its location on the banks of the San Martín estuary in the municipality of Miengo, Solvay decided to create a Landscape Plan to supplement the mandatory Restoration Plan associated with mining activities, with the objective of creating a natural space that would integrate with the physical environment around the quarry. 

From 1991 to 2013, a progressive landscape restoration took place of the operational areas that were becoming exhausted. The main activity involved rehabilitating the natural habitat by adding soil to the quarry floor and the bare rock walls, in order to allow native plants to be re-established. Similarly, they also created lagoons and ponds on the limestone substrate, which are sources of marsh ecosystems, as well as paths around the old limestone deposit.