Shap Beck quarry community page

Hello future

On 02 October 2023 we rebranded to Heidelberg Materials. As well as aligning with our parent company, our new name better reflects the company we are today.

We’re focused on driving down carbon emissions, increasing the use of recycled materials to grow the circular economy and leading our industry towards net zero with innovative projects such as carbon capture and storage.

Some of the new Heidelberg Materials signage and vehicle livery is already in place and we hope to have completed this within the next two years. Please note that our email and website details have also changed.

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About Shap Beck quarry

Shap Beck Quarry is located just north of the village of Shap, quite close to the granite quarries. The geology here is however from sediments that were deposited in a tropical sea that was the first to flood across the slates and granites of Cumbria after they formed in the Caledonian Orogeny, around 400 million years ago. They are made of the mineral calcite, which is calcium carbonate and were originally deposited as shells, broken shell fragments and algal secretions in shallow seas.

New plant installation - 1999

The Quarry received a new plant in 1999 and since 2009 supplies around 650,000 tonnes of crushed kiln feed limestone from Shap Beck to Shap Fell processing plant nearby (Tata steel) and used in the large scale production of lime for steelmaking. 

The quarry also supplies around 300,000 to local and regional markets and has an on-site plant for making asphalt for road surfacing. There are 21 people employed directly and the quarry supports a further 30 jobs for drivers and contractors. The site extends to 118 hectares.

Shap Beck fleet - 2014


Shap Beck is dominated by the exposed bare ground, buildings and machinery associated with the quarry works. The area also includes a number of water bodies, including the Shap Beck, which flows along the east side of the site, and a number of ponds and calcareous semi-improved grasslands, willow-alder scrub and mixed plantation, all predominantly around the site perimeter.

Identified habitats include bare ground of the operational areas, semi-improved calcareous and acid grassland, tall herb and ruderal vegetation, mixed plantation, standing and running water. Two water features have potentially more than local ecological significance - Sweetholme Ponds and Shap Beck.

Geology week group visits Shap Beck quarry

On Saturday 23rd March, Shap Beck Quarry had a small group of visitors to site as part of their ‘geology week’ in and around the Lake District. The visit focused on the processes required for the in-situ rock to become sellable material, and no geology excursion would be complete without a bit of fossil finding!”

Students study sustainability

Shap Beck quarry has welcomed two sets of visitors, GCSE pupils studying sustainability and members of the Agricultural Lime Association who wanted to see how their fertiliser is made. Read more

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Aston University students visit Shap Beck Quarry

20 Construction Management students from Aston University visited Shap Beck quarry. They were escorted by quarry staff who discussed all aspects of the quarry operation with them including products and challenges. The students also got close up with the quarry workings, mineral deposit and viewed the primary crusher in action.

Agricultural Lime and PPE – Keeping local farmers and doctors supplied

Shap Beck Quarry is proud to be a key producer of agricultural lime, even more so during these difficult times. Providing local farmers and food producers with agricultural lime means they can continue their crucial roles providing food to the region. We have also donated 30 FFP3 masks to Carlisle Surgery and 8 sets of overalls to Shap Medical Practice to aid in their fight against COVID-19. We thank all the key workers across for their continued efforts during this uncertain time.

Tawny Owl rescue

Quarry staff spotted this poor Tawny Owl stuck in the mud beneath his tractor. They managed to rescue the owl and brought him to Paragon Vets in Dalston. Luckily the owl sustained no injuries and after a good bath, some food and a few days rest, the owl was brought back to site where we released him back to his territory.

New solar panels installed

In a continued effort to reduce our energy consumption, we have installed several new solar panels onto our railhead infrastructure. This powers the lights used during night-time rail loading operations which charge up throughout the day. This reduces our carbon emissions and fuel usage on site, which is a small step forward to reducing our environmental impact. 

Crosby Ravensworth School visit

On Tuesday 3rd March 2020, we hosted 14 Crosby Ravensworth School pupils aged 7-11 years at Shap Beck Quarry for a tour of the site. 

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500 sandbags filled for community at risk of severe flooding

Employees from our Shap Beck quarry in Penrith, Cumbria dedicated their time to supporting the local parish council and surrounding areas at risk from flooding.

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Site liaison

Peter Scott - Unit Manager


More info by clicking the pins


We advertise our opportunities on the Heidelberg Materials website, leading online job boards and in print media. 

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Community thanks

Materials donated from Shap Beck quarry and its asphalt plant have been used to resurface a community centre’s forecourt.

Steve Simpson was thanked for the 30 tonnes of limestone sub-base and 60 tonnes of asphalt at an open afternoon at The Old Courthouse, the former school and magistrates court now run as a community charity.

“Our quarry is one of the main employers in the area and we were happy to help with their accessibility improvements,” said Steve, regional general manager – asphalt north.

Sandbach High School visits Shap Beck Quarry

A group of 38 15-year-old girls from Sandbach High School in Cheshire visited Shap quarry in Cumbria as part of a geography GCSE field trip covering sustainability. They had a presentation and a site tour to study the quarry's biodiversity.

Shap Beck quarry achieves Aglime certification

Shap Beck Quarry has been awarded the AgLime Quality Standard certification for our Agricultural Lime for 2019/2020. We are delighted to have been recognised for the quality of our products. View certificate

Community visits

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