Quarry visits bring learning to life

Children from Axbridge C of E First School Academy, who have been studying rocks as part of their science topic, got to see quarry operations first-hand on a visit to Batts Combe quarry in Cheddar.

Their learning was brought to life by unit manager Simon Parkes and his team, who welcomed 33 excited year 3 students to the quarry.

The children found out more about the quarrying process, went to the viewing platform to see the size and scale of the quarry and learnt about the importance of biodiversity and restoration at quarry sites. They also got up close to some of the large machinery used on site including a loading shovel and a lorry with a walking floor.

Simon Parkes said: “It’s always a pleasure to welcome pupils from nearby Axbridge to Batts Combe. We hope they enjoyed finding out how quarries work, and the important role aggregates play in our daily lives.”

In a second visit, members of the public visited the quarry as part of Mendip Rocks, an annual festival of geology to celebrate the 450-million-year history of the Mendip Hills.

Batts Combe has some of the purest limestone in Great Britain, laid down during the Carboniferous Period when the climate was warm and tropical. Two groups learned about the many uses of limestone as well as past and present extraction and processing methods during a two-hour guided minibus tour. They were also able to search a recently blasted pile for any rock with calcite crystals and fossils.