Protecting the environment
To ensure that the local environment is looked after and improved during our work at Ffos-y-fran, we have put various mitigation methods in place to enable us to protect local wildlife and plants whilst working to extract the coal and regenerate the land.
The mining industry is a highly regulated industry, with strict environmental standards. We are accredited to ISO 14001, an international Environmental Standard which sets criteria to set up an effective environmental management system. This standard ensures that accredited organisations implement effective environmental protocols and comply fully with all relevant environmental legislation.
Miller Argent work closely with environmental regulators Natural Resources Wales who regularly review our site operations.
Miller Argent is also duty bound to work within a wide range of strict planning conditions set by Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council. A significant number of these relate specifically to maintaining excellent environmental standards relating to air quality, dust, noise and water quality.
The area in and around Ffos-y-fran mainly consists of upland common land with areas of acid grassland, marshy grassland, wet heath, a wooded valley, a series of ponds and watercourses, which is home to a diverse range of plant and animal species. These include amphibians such as Great Crested Newt, Palmate Newt and common frogs; birds such as Lapwing, Curlew, Ringed Plover, Coot, Heron, Buzzard, Red Kite; mammals such as Otter and various species of bats; and insects such as Broom Moth, Blue-Tailed Damselfly and Grayling and Small Heath butterflies.
There are two areas we have designated as ecological areas known as the ‘Central Ecological Area’ and the Cwm Golau valley, which provide diverse habitats for many species including those mentioned above. Miller Argent has written management plans for these areas to protect and enhance these habitats and ecosystems.
The ‘Central Ecological Area’ is alongside the Bogey Road and has two large ponds and a large area of grassland. The ponds and surrounding habitat are of value to the amphibian species such as Great Crested and Palmate Newts, various dragonflies and damselflies as well as variety of breeding and wintering bird species.
The Cwm Golau valley is an area that was previously an extensive woodland that was exploited during the industrial revolution to leave a small section of trees at the bottom of the valley. Miller Argent has made a number of enhancements in this area including planting trees, restoring hedgerows, putting up bird and bat boxes, and creating a series of ponds for the Great Crested and Palmate Newts that were trans located from Ffos-y-fran.
Ffos-y-fran will be sensitively restored taking into account the various habitats and the plant and animals species present in the area, ensuring that it is suitable to encourage biodiversity by supporting the local plant and animal wildlife.
Our Tree Planting Scheme
We are implementing a tree planting scheme in which over two thousand trees have already been planted, involving only native species, that would once have grown on the land hundreds of years ago such as Willow, Rowan, Holly, Oak and Birch.
This will help to restore the ecology of area to its pre-industrial state.
Historically, we believe that fly tipping has been a major issue in the area, and we are determined to help stop this. We have already removed burnt out cars and many discarded tyres from the site. We are committed to working with the local authorities to stop fly tipping in the area which can be seen at Ffos-y-fran.
We want to be a good neighbour at Nant Llesg and propose to do so by limiting any impact of our operations on the proposed site to the absolute minimum.
We would employ essentially the same tried and tested mitigation methods at Nant Llesg that have worked very well at Ffos-y–fran but they would be implemented specifically to meet local conditions.