Visit to the new stairway at the ENCI quarry in Maastricht

For our last board meeting on Tuesday 1 December, we decided to take a look at the new stairway at the ENCI quarry in Maastricht. Our Secretary Wiel Schins, who is also the President of the Limburg branch of the Dutch Geological Association, has been involved in the transformation of the quarry into a nature reserve and learning centre and was able to give us a very interesting update on the project.

Visit our photo album here.

The ENCI quarry in Maastricht is a 135 ha limestone quarry. Limestone is an important raw material for the production of cement.

The cement plant ENCI was established in 1926. In 2009 a transformation plan for the entire ENCI area was developed and approved. As a result, limestone excavation in Maastricht will end completely in July 2018.

The older parts of the quarry have grown to become an important nature park, hosting many species of plants, birds, butterflies and amphibians. Because of its proximity to the city of Maastricht the area will become an important public area for the local community.

A footpath from Maastricht to Liège (Belgium) used to run through the site but disappeared as a result of the limestone excavation. The Foundation for the development of the ENCI area has decided to restore this historical route through the quarry. This will be done in the form of a stairway and viewpoint which will go from the top of the Sint-Pietersberg in Maastricht to the floor of the quarry. the staircase will lead to a pathway through the transition zone of the ENCI site, making it possible to reach Liège in the future. People will learn about the geological history of the area as they descend the stairway. This stairway (height > 40 metres) was completed in summer 2015.

The Foundation for the development of the ENCI area can count on financial support of Interreg, through the RESTORE-project . ENCI, Natuurmonumenten (a Dutch national nature NGO who will be the future owner of the quarry), the city of Maastricht, the Province of Limburg and a representative of the neighbourhood association will also contribute to the project.

More information at: http://www.restorequarries.eu/enci-maastricht/4579800705