THE end of more than 60 years of quarrying in Chelford has been heralded with a ceremony which will lead to a new wildlife-friendly lake.

Residents Victor and Margaret Roberts switched off the pumps at Sibelco’s Parklands Quarry, allowing water to start filling the 43-acre site next to the A535 which has delivered specialist sand, mostly for the UK’s glass industry.

The couple have lived next door for 30 years, and will soon enjoy a view of Parklands Lake as it forms at their garden’s edge.

Mr Roberts said: “When we moved here we didn’t know there would be quarrying next to our property, but we didn’t own the fields.

“It was Hepworths Minerals that began the quarrying, then Sibelco took over.

“We’ve always been kept informed and really did never have a problem. There was never an unsightly mess, the site was as clean and tidy as was possible.

Knutsford Guardian:

“Sibelco have been wonderful, that’s why we stayed put. We never had any doubts as to what the place would look like, and now at long last we’ll see some water. The view will be incredible, we’re delighted.”

The new Parklands Lake will sit close to Lapwing Lake, another former sand quarry, and is set to be joined by Acre Nook, a 180-acre site where quarrying will cease next year.

The multi-million pound restoration programme has been funded by Sibelco, whose UK Head of Operations, Adam Daniels, said: “Chelford has played a proud role in Britain’s industrial effort, contributing 60 million tonnes of silica sand, mostly to the country’s specialist glass producers.

“Now we’re delivering on the promise of creating a legacy with three wonderful lakes, landscaping and other measures designed to maximise biodiversity and provide a tranquil, wildlife-rich environment.

“Having Mr and Mrs Roberts switch off the pumps at Parklands was an honour, as they’ve been as good neighbours to us as I hope we have been to them. I wish them many happy years of enjoying their new view.”