Thursday, 11 October 2012

Is AI attempting to disguise itself as a wildlife business?

Is Aggregate Industries now more concerned with wildlife than it is with quarrying or the local people whose lives it disrupts?

Those not so cynically minded might, on reading the press release Aggregate Industries form powerful new partnership to protect London's wildlife, be inclined to think that its main line of business was actually in wildlife, with a bit of readymix on the side. 

Does AI hope that by showing people pictures of butterflies and damselflies they might overlook just how environmentally unsustainable and destructive to natural habitats quarrying is?

No damselfly survives the onslaught of AI's earth-movers, and it's disingenuous of an aggregates company to feign a love of nature. AI showed no such concern in 2002 when it protested that "the decision to protect the birds, as well as what English Nature called 'a rich assemblage of dragonfly and damselfly' restricted its use of [Bramshill]."

The recent corporate video - "Biodiversity - a priority at Aggregate Industries" (with some clips of Blackhill Quarry) - seeks to show how seriously AI now takes biodiversity. In which case we can be assured that it will not quarry Straitgate Farm and put the bio-diverse wetland habitats in the Ancient Woodlands of Cadhay Bog and Cadhay Wood at risk. Or are AI's proclamations empty words, and "biodiversity protection and enhancement" not quite the "priority" it claims?