New marine licence granted for the Bristol Channel


“Gaining this major marine sand dredging licence is a very significant moment for Tarmac as we secure a long-term natural sand source for our customers in south west England and south Wales for at least the next 15 years.”

Dr Andrew Bellamy, resources manager, marine aggregates

In 2019, Tarmac was granted a major new sand extraction licence in the Bristol Channel. The new license replaces the previous sand source, which is now worked out, and will provide resources into the south West and south Wales.


The licence was issued following test dredges completed earlier in the year at the new Culver Extension area 526 license, which is a joint license held with other aggregate companies. The site contains around 22 million tonnes of fine concreting sand in Welsh waters. A substantial amount also lies in the English waters but is yet to be test dredged.

Our new license allows for more than 660,000 tonnes a year to be extracted, double the amount permitted under the previous licence, providing vital materials for the local construction market and essential for new housing, transport networks, commercial and industrial buildings, utilities, schools and hospitals.

Dr Andrew Bellamy, resources manager, said: “I am very pleased that our initial dredge trials were successful and the sand is of an extremely high quality.”

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