Media releases & Case studies

Meet the residents of our Heerlen site

All over the world, Sibelco sites welcome a variety of wildlife. 

“It’s one of our focuses to take care of wildlife and nature in and around our sites,” says Inez Goris from the Sustainability Center of Excellence, “This can be challenging. When restoring a part of our Heerlen site in the Netherlands, we discovered some unexpected inhabitants, a group of badgers.”

Half of our Heerlen site is in restoration and planned to become part of a nature reserve, which will be open to the public. Together with Geology and the Site Manager, Maurice Dolmans, Sustainability started to investigate how they could implement smart biodiversity management to protect the badgers and their main nests, without disrupting the day-to-day quarrying activities. They aligned the restoration planning with the natural habitat of the badger families, so they could also respect the ‘Nature Conservation Act’ – a local animal law to protect wildlife. The badgers will now be able to keep enjoying their Sibelco homes.

Badgers in Heerlen

A part of the attraction of our Heerlen site to badgers, can be explained by its location. The site lies next to a part of the ‘Natura 2000’ area: Brunssummerheide. Natura 2000 is a nature reserve that extends over 18% of the European Union’s land, and is the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world.

Badgers like to live in sandy soils, like some of our sites have to offer, and build ‘castles’ with lots of holes and hallways that connect their homes. They are nocturnal, which means they like to be active during the night and sleep during the day.

Special thanks to Maurice Dolmans, Isaac Berwouts and Petra Gerritsma for helping to make biodiversity management at Heerlen a success.