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Common FAQ's

  • What size gravel should I use for pathways and drives?
  • What size gravel should I use for pathways and drives?

    The most common sizes we supply are 10mm and 20mm gravel. 10mm is usually best for pathways, as it is easy to walk on. The 20mm is best for drives, because the smaller 10mm gravel may get into the treads of car tyres.

  • How much gravel do I need to buy?
  • How much gravel do I need to buy?

    Gravel is calculated by volume. As a guide, 30 sq meters, to a depth of 25 mm (1 inch), will require 1 tonne of gravel.

  • Does the price include delivery?
  • Does the price include delivery?

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Gill Mill's major extension

Smiths has welcomed yesterday’s (13 January) decision by Oxfordshire County Council’s Planning and Regulation Committee to grant conditional permission for its plans for a major extension to the Gill Mill Quarry at Ducklington on the outskirts of Witney.

The new permission will enable the site to supply a further five million tonnes of sand and gravel to help meet local needs over the next 25 years. In doing so, it will protect the future of an existing operation that supports 40 jobs directly and many more indirectly and which also recycles local building waste as aggregates.

The council’s approval for the company’s proposals is also significant in terms of what it means for biodiversity and tourism. The plans continue and expand the site’s programme of progressive restoration for nature uses and have been widely welcomed in terms of their substantial potential contribution to Oxfordshire’s biodiversity targets. New nature conservation habitats will total over 120 hectares and will include extensive reed beds.

In the future, tourists will be attracted by self-catering eco-lodges that are planned overlooking the newly created reedbeds and which will help the long-term funding of the biodiversity programme. 

The plans also provide for improved access to the countryside for local people and visitors alike with some 11km of new paths and bridleways. Whilst these will be provided over the long life of the quarry development, in the short term Smiths will also provide new paths along the Windrush Valley linking into their Rushy Common Nature Reserve and the Tar Lakes recreation area. Associated with this Smiths will be working with the parish council at Ducklington to provide new parking places in the village for walkers attracted to the new paths. 
On completion of mineral extraction, the restoration design also provides for a complex of lakes for water-based recreation activities which are provided for the benefit of the local community.

Smiths is also making a substantial financial contribution to the Lower Windrush Valley Project which aims to secure wider benefits to the wildlife and landscape of the Windrush Valley below Witney, including increasing public access. With Oxfordshire County Council, Smiths has been a founding partner of the project over the past decade.

The new 97-hectare extension to Gill Mill quarry lies to the north of the existing processing plant and is bordered by the A40 to the north, the eastern arm of the River Windrush to the west and Cogges Lane to the east.

Over the life of the current extraction operations at Gill Mill, land that has been quarried has been progressively reinstated to new beneficial afteruses. This has included the Rushy Common Nature Reserve in Cogges Lane which was opened in 2012; and the popular neighbouring Tar Lakes which features circular walks designed with wheelchairs in mind.

The project has been led by Smiths planning and estates manager, Martin Layer. “We are obviously delighted that the county council has accepted our case and are grateful to the many local people and organisations who have contributed to the debate and to the ideas that have emerged as a result,” he said.
He added: “Whilst maintaining an essential local industry and the local jobs that it provides, this is a project that will undoubtedly deliver substantial benefits for wildlife and the community while protecting all that is best in a beautiful area. It demonstrates very well that quarrying can have highly positive impacts beyond the essential materials that it provides. ”

For further information on Gill Mill and the planning please click here