silica and moulding sands association (samsa) part of the Mineral Products Association (MPA)


silica and moulding
sands association



Planning and restoration

All members of SAMSA recognise that their activities can have a significant environmental impact. They have developed and established environmental management systems to both manage and reduce any negative impacts. Many of the operational activities associated with silica sand production are regulated by law, so both employees and contractors must be aware of their duties and responsibilities and the contribution they can make towards protecting our environment.

Nature, Restoration and the Community

Looking after our environment is a collective responsibility and, because extractive operations can have a significant environmental impact, they are extensively regulated and subject to extensive legal obligations. All members of SAMSA endeavour to achieve the highest standards by following the best available practices to minimise any adverse impacts and enhance the environment.

Notably, the environmental impacts of silica sand operations are not all negative and SAMSA members pride themselves on giving back to nature, and to communities, something even better than was there before.

Because they are managed so responsibly, even active quarries become havens for wildlife, with new species populating the varied features that are created as an integral part of the operations. Members’ obligations continue even after their operations have ceased, with new habitats and public amenities being created through carefully designed restoration schemes that are developed in consultation with wildlife specialists and with local communities. SAMSA members contribute to the achievement of national biodiversity targets, providing havens for vulnerable species. Many restored quarries gain special recognition as sites of special scientific interest.

The added value industrial silica sands that SAMSA members produce are essential for our everyday lives, being used in a vast array of applications. By necessity, extractive operations contribute to the depletion of natural resources and that’s why SAMSA members take every care to ensure that they make the best possible use of the resources available.

“Part of our responsibility is to ensure the most appropriate developments which accord with the environment. Our restoration schemes are planned from a very early stage. These are based around landscape assessments and ecological considerations. This approach will contribute massively to biodiversity targets, protecting species and habitats.

"Many former quarry sites now contribute to county wildlife sites and sites of special scientific interest. We create heathland habitats, wetland and wet woodlands as well as a broad range of deciduous woodlands.

"It is important that we maintain dialogue, working closely with the local communities and the businesses that are in the vicinity. To achieve this we hold local liaison meetings as well as open days, enhancing our relationship with the communities based around the quarries.

"The best compliments that we get are at our public open days. Our neighbours often comment “We didn’t even know the quarry was there”. That does tell us something - we are getting things right.”

Comments from Environmental Planning Manager, SAMSA member company.


"Part of our responsibility is to ensure the most appropriate developments which accord with the environment."

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