Shap Beck quarry community page

About Shap Beck quarry

Shap Beck Quarry is located just north of the village of Shap, quite close to the granite quarries. The geology here is however from sediments that were deposited in a tropical sea that was the first to flood across the slates and granites of Cumbria after they formed in the Caledonian Orogeny, around 400 million years ago. They are made of the mineral calcite, which is calcium carbonate and were originally deposited as shells, broken shell fragments and algal secretions in shallow seas.

Shap - new plant installation 1999.

New plant installation - 1999

The Quarry received a new plant in 1999 and since 2009 supplies around 650,000 tonnes of crushed kiln feed limestone from Shap Beck to Shap Fell processing plant nearby (Tata steel) and used in the large scale production of lime for steelmaking. 

The quarry also supplies around 300,000 to local and regional markets and has an on-site plant for making asphalt for road surfacing. There are 21 people employed directly and the quarry supports a further 30 jobs for drivers and contractors. The site extends to 118 hectares.

Shap - fleet.

Shap Beck fleet - 2014

News: Longboat put to the torch at Shap quarry “fire festival”

PUPILS of Shap Church of England Primary School ended their Viking topic by burning their own “Viking longboat” on the lagoon at Hanson’s quarry. The children in years three and four, as part of their Viking topic, had made their own longboat, complete with woven sail and shields.

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Stay Safe... Stay Out of Quarries

Stay safe... Stay out of quarries.

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Aston University students visit Shap Beck Quarry

Aston University construction management students visit Shap Beck quarry.

20 Construction Management students from Aston University visited Shap Beck quarry this month (May 2016). They were escorted by Ben Strickland and Robin Gillespie who discussed all aspects of the quarry operation with them including products and challenges. The students also got close up with the quarry workings, mineral deposit and viewed the primary crusher in action.

Community visits

If you are interested in upcoming visits, or would like to arrange one, please use the form below.

Find out more about community visits

Community involvement

The current relationship between Shap Beck and the local community remains extremely healthy, with numerous visits from the local primary school – there is a clear emphasis on developing a close and transparent relationship.

Shap Beck - Shap primary school visit 2015.

Shap primary school visit - 2015

Both the Unit Manager (R. Gillespie) and Assistant Unit Manager (B. Strickland) attend parish council meetings to listen to the local community and inform them of any changes that could impact on them.

Assitant Manager, B Strickland with the chair of Shap Parish Council, J Jackson.

Assitant Manager (B. Strickland) with the Chair of Shap Parish Council (J. Jackson)


Shap Beck is dominated by the exposed bare ground, buildings and machinery associated with the quarry works. The area also includes a number of water bodies, including the Shap Beck, which flows along the east side of the site, and a number of ponds and calcareous semi-improved grasslands, willow-alder scrub and mixed plantation, all predominantly around the site perimeter.

Identified habitats include bare ground of the operational areas, semi-improved calcareous and acid grassland, tall herb and ruderal vegetation, mixed plantation, standing and running water. Two water features have potentially more than local ecological significance - Sweetholme Ponds and Shap Beck.

Shap Beck nature reserve.


Site liaison

Ryan Murphy.

Ryan Murphy - Assistant Manager

Tel: 01931 717 205


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Hanson Tests Cat 374D Excavator from Finning Caterpillar


We advertise our opportunities on the Hanson website, leading online job boards and the print media. We also attend a selection of career events at both national and local levels. Occasionally, recruitment agencies will represent us in attracting specialist skills. We have a preferred suppliers list of recruitment agencies and will accept applications from those so approved.

Take a look at our current opportunities.


We help charities and voluntary groups in communities close to our sites and offices through the Hanson in the Community scheme.

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