Earlier this week, 30 Farnham residents joined SUEZ staff for a 2.1km guided walk around a restored section of Runfold South Quarry and Landfill, located just to the east of Farnham in Surrey.
During the walk, residents heard stories about the history of the area from Mark Bowgen, a Landfill Aftercare Technician who has worked on site for 30 years, and learned about future plans for the site from Annemarie Wilshaw, the Senior Planning Manager for the restoration project. The walk was part of the second annual Farnham Walking Festival and led participants along the North Downs Way and up onto a view point overlooking Farnham.
SUEZ is working to restore the former landfill by capping and landscaping the site progressively to create a sustainable landform that blends with the natural surroundings. The aim, subject to sourcing appropriate restoration materials, is to complete reclamation of the whole site by the end of 2021, at which point the footpath connecting Old Guildford Road with the North Downs Way would be returned from its current diverted route to allow public access across the centre of the site.
Pupils from neighbouring Barfield School currently use one section of the completed site as a playing field for sports and outdoor activities, while other sections are being restored to woodland or agricultural grazing land. Earlier this year pupils from Barfield School helped to plant trees on a completed edge of the site.
The site has been active since 1951, first as a sand quarry and later as a landfill, and is one of only seven remaining operational landfills owned by SUEZ in the UK – an over 50% reduction since 2001 as the company embraces a circular economy based model.
Annemarie Wilshaw, Senior Planning Manager for SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, said: “It was wonderful to welcome community members to the site and to be able to show the progress that has been made towards restoration. We are proud of the work that has been done so far and look forward to returning the land to agricultural use.”