Is there currently any public access to the quarry?
No, and there never have been any public rights of way through the site. While it was a working quarry, access was restricted to ensure compliance with strict health and safety regulations. Since quarrying ended, limited access has been allowed to local geologists and other interest groups.
Once the site has been restored to agricultural use, access will remain restricted with the gates permanently locked to discourage fly-tipping – a growing problem in Oxfordshire. Only statutory bodies will be granted access as required to ensure any fossils are preserved.
There is a network of footpaths and bridleways across the rest of the farm, however. Wicklesham Farm is a popular place for local people to enjoy the countryside and some of Faringdon’s circular walks pass through it.
How much public money has the quarry received?
Absolutely none. Working quarries are not eligible for area-based farming subsidies or environmental grants. Conversely, Grundon has paid the appropriate business rates on the site as well as the Aggregates Levy and other local and national taxes. On return to agriculture, however, it becomes eligible for area-based subsidies.