Creswell Crag Whitwell – November 17th 2010.
The ALA welcomed over 80 delegates to the 2010 conference , speakers presented six papers on subjects ranging from a Government perspective of Fertiliser and Soil Nutrient regulation following the current E.U. ‘New Approach’ to Fertiliser Regulation and the inclusion of liming products as ‘Liming Fertilisers’. The issues and challenges of Climate Change, Energy and regulation facing the quarrying industry were clearly explained to delegates to give a perspective on life this ‘side of the fence’. In the absence of any comprehensive national soil survey, a new Professional Agricultural Analysis Group (PAAG) presented results of their second report collating results from 13 leading soil laboratories. For those engaged in field analysis this paper stimulated much debate, and presented ALA with an opportunity to engage with the group to draw practical field experience into the analysis.
Following the recent miss-interpretation of the 2010 Environmental Permitting Regulations, especially U10 and the Land spreading of wastes to confer agricultural benefit; the agency presented a paper to clarify and help delegates to understand the principles and structure of the new regulation. Soil management was the topic from Dr Alastair Leake Director of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, The Allerton Educational Trust his stimulating discussion on soil management and crop establishment provided refreshing and successful new approaches. Conference was rounded off with a paper by Brian Annis OBE the ALA Consultant and Secretary of WG3 who explained the detailed work done to produce Version 4 of the 6th ATP to be presented to the E.U. Technical Working Group. This version includes the test methods devised and proposed to determine the difference between Chalk and Limestone, together with specifications for all current agricultural liming products for inclusion as Liming Fertilisers.
Following a buffet lunch where delegates had opportunity to meet and discuss issues with speakers. Tours of both the Creswell Neolithic Caves system and the nearby Whitwell Quarry were arranged to help round off a most successful conference.
Conference provided opportunity for ALA to extend Associate Membership invitations to companies and individuals to build on the wealth of experience within the association, and increase our position with Government agencies and bodies.
The association would like to extend a big Thank you to MPA staff for the invaluable assistance in organising and managing the event, which certainly ensured the interest and value for delegates.