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Biodiversity project (Meurthe & Moselle)

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Biodiversity project (Meurthe & Moselle)


The objective and challenge of this biodiversity project has been to include the management of a special area of conservation within the daily activity of the quarry. A NATURA 2000 management plan (in the juridical form of a contract) was signed with the Public Authorities in 2004, consisting of:

  • the creation of a specific area (a small dam) for the Yellow Bellied frog
  • maintenance and cutting of the grass of the area chosen by the Great Crested Newt
  • compatibility in terms of timings in relation to quarry maintenance and drilling operations, to meet the needs of the species
  • scientific monitoring.


The quarry is located in an extensive agriculture area. The extraction works created a new environment and a favourable habitat for two protected species under the Habitats Directive (batrachians) which usually develop in wetlands:

  • Yellow Bellied frog (Sonneur à ventre jaune - Bombina variegata)
  • Great Crested Newt (Triton crêté - Triturus cristatus

The discovery of the species in water zones of the quarry lead to the classification of the site under NATURA 2000. The site has also been recognised as a Nature Protected Site in the region of Meurthe et Moselle.


NATURA 2000 requires an evaluation of the impacts of human activities for projects within NATURA 2000 areas. Administrative procedures for authorisation are stricte
The NATURA 2000 management plan fixes the dates for certain types of works which may have an impact on protected species.  Part of the site has been restored for agricultural use (grazing). No pesticides are allowed, and the use of fertilisers is limited. The other part of the area has been restored as a favorable area  for the batrachians.


The estimated population today of the Yellowed Belly frog is about 1 000. The good practices undertaken in the quarry made it a reference in literature and in communication tools for amphibians in the region.

The company incurred no direct costs, only the indirect costs of the implementation of good practices which are difficult to estimate. For the two NATURA 2000 species, all of the costs for protection are reimbursed by the public authorities.

For the other protected species in the quarry, the protection is financed by the “Conservatoire des Sites Lorrains”. This project provides advantages for protected species, advantages for scientific knowledge of the species, positive press releases and relationships with E-NGOs.


A  Partnership Convention has been signed with the “Conservatoire des Sites Lorrains” for the protection of the site, allowing human activity in the quarry. A management plan has been drafted within the Convention and the “Conservatoire des Sites Lorrains” has the role as a consultant in biodiversity.

Company & location

VICAT - Cimenterie de Xeuilley, Meurthe & Moselle, France


Tel: 00 33 04 74 27 58 42

Google earth coordinates:

 48° 33'  6,65'' N Latitude

6°  6' 38,73'' E Longitude