The quarry is located in connection to the production site with a distance of 2-4 kilometers from the cement plant. The mining of limestone at the site has been going on since the end of the 19th century. But the region has had lime production and mining of alum shale for many centuries before that. Lime stone exports from Öland dates back to the 13th century and from Degerhamn back to the 17th century.
The mined quarry area is about 173 hectares (Cementa property 361 hectares) with an active north-south phase of 850 meters with a height of around 9 meters high grade limestone excavated towards the east. There are seven areas with different levels of restoration (see picture below),
Second oldest area for restoration, area 2, is located south of the entrance area to the quarry. This area has been restored to form a small lake surrounded by bush vegetation and planted poplar which favor insect- and birdlife. The catchment of water is partly groundwater but mainly water from the deeper eastern part of the quarry.
Area 2, which are the oldest part, lies in the north-west where the mining started. Here, small heaps of overburden material surrounded by regenerated Alvar ground have formed a landscape with bush vegetation and small game. These heaps were used for agriculture by workers in the past.
Area 4 is a lake in the southern part of the quarry which has a maximum depth of five meters depending on area and season. This area was restored in the early 1980ies. The perpendicular quarry phase is a nesting place for various birds, for example sand martins. From here the water is pumped to the quarry lake in area 2.
In area 3 there are wetlands with birdlife. Area 5 is the newest and least restored area.
Area 6 and 7 are old deposits for the cement kiln dust. Area 6 was covered in 2010 and area 7 in 2015, both according to plans that has been approved by the competent authority’s.
The Degerhamn quarry was in the European year of the environment 1987-88 qualified in the “New life from old quarries” as HIGHLY RECOMMENDED in the category “nature reserves (limited human access)”.
The quarry is located on the south-west side of the island Öland in the Baltic sea. The existing and future mining area is defined by Geological Survey of Sweden as of national interests with respect to limestone for the country (26-03-2007), and therefore excluded from the rest of Stora Alvaret which is a Natura 2000 area and designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO due to its extraordinary biodiversity and prehistory.
The mining area is part of Stora Alvaret which is a limestone barren plain on the island of Öland. Because of the thin soil mantle and high pH levels, a great assortment of vegetation is found including numerous rare species.
The ruderal areas in the quarry show, in inventories, a great variety of different species as well as the restored areas with open water ponds and the generated wetland in the eastern part of the area.
A few examples from one of the inventory reports carried out are shown in the attached pdf file.
Nature protection projects
- Restoration of old mining area pond by for example cutting reed and repopulation of crayfish.
- Restoration of old cement kiln dust deposit (last part finalized 2015)
- A nature trail in the plant surroundings focuses on mining history passing a viewpoint looking over the quarry established in area 1 in 2015.
- A new shore in area 4 to increase biodiversity in 2015.
- Bird island constructed in area 4 2015.
- Test areas to recreate Alvar, 2015
- Inauguration of new nature trail with around 300 visitors, 2015.
- The plant invites visitors to the plant open days including a quarry visit at five to seven occasions per year.
- Geological garden depicting the importance of the lime industry to the local community and the flora and fauna.