Whatley quarry community page

About Whatley quarry

Whatley has been operating since the 1960s and is the largest of Hanson UK’s quarries. It is situated between the villages of Mells and Chantry in the Mendip Hills Natural Character Area around four miles west of Frome and employs over 60 people directly, along with a wide range of support staff and contractors. The quarry supplies crushed limestone aggregate to local markets by road, and to depots in London and south east England via a dedicated rail link. It operates 24 hours a day and produces between four and five million tonnes of aggregate a year. There are on-site plants for making asphalt and ready-mixed concrete. Limestone reserves are in the order of 100 million tonnes. The site extends to 173 hectares, of which 120 hectares comprise the limestone extraction site.

The neighbouring Asham Wood SAC and Vallis Vale SSSI are also within Hanson ownership and feature a variety of habitats.  Restoration of the quarry will achieve a mix of lowland mixed deciduous woodland, calcareous grassland and a large water body.

Hand picked stones from Whatley Quarry used for Clevedon Golf Club tee signs

Hand picked stones from Whatley quarry for Clevedon Golf Club.

Stones for tee signs at the Clevedon Golf club were hand picked from Whatley Quarry. The stone pictured above is situated on the 1st tee and the club has had many compliments regarding the stones.

Dog search gets Poppy out of a hole


Quarry staff at Whatley came to the rescue when Jack Russell Poppy went missing.

Read how Poppy got rescued

Interesting fact:

The majority of the site is freehold. Part of the extension area to the west and the rail corridor to the east is leasehold. Both are long-term leases.


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.

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

Interesting fact:

The quarry contains carboniferous limestone laid down on 60 degree beds. The natural water table is at 90 metres AoD (above ordnance datum) and the quarry depth is 110 metres AoD. Water is pumped ouit 24 hours a day at a rate of 16 million litres a day. It is used to augment flows in the neighbouring Mells brook and Whatley stream.

Site visit photo gallery

Community affiliations

Somerset earth science centre.

Find out more about the Somerset Earth Science Centre at:



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

Request sponsorship

Quarry blasting schedule (updated regularly)

Blasting will take place between the hours of 12:00 and 17:00


  • 14th level 2 south
  • 16th level 0 south
  • 17th level 2 south
  • 21st level 3 south
  • 23rd level 8 sinking
  • 24th level 1 North
  • 28th level 5 South
  • 30th level 3 ramp southern face

This is the planned schedule but may alter due to breakdown or unforeseen circumstances.

View a diagram showing the quarry levels

View vibration monitoring locations

Old mobile phones go for recycling

More than 260 old mobile phones have been donated to CLIC Sargent for recycling to help raise money for children and young people with cancer.Whatley quarry-based maintenance foreman Dave Short prompted the donation from employees and the company, but said good teamwork led to so many phones being collected.

“CLIC recycles all sorts, including cars,” said Dave, who was full of praise for the charity that supported his family through a tough time when his toddler grandson was diagnosed with leukaemia.

“I am grateful to service desk team leader Adam Scott and Chipping Sodbury colleague Emily Sully, who did a lot of work to make the collection so successful”.

University of Derby students visit Whatley quarry

University of Derby students visit Whatley quarry.

A group of students studying minerals extraction degrees at the University of Derby visited Whatley quarry for a study tour organised jointly by the university and the Institute of Quarrying.

Read more

Mineral collecting at Whatley Quarry

The Russell Society has been welcome to collect minerals at Whatley Quarry for many years with the agreement of the quarry management team.

Whatley Minerals Extraction.

Whatley quarry team help clean up

Whatley quarry production manager Martin Symons and his team helped the local police to clean up a nearby former quarry site which had been used for an illegal rave. The privately owned site at Vallis Vale was invaded by hundreds of people at the weekend event. Chief Superintendent Ian Wylie from Avon and Somerset Police wrote to Martin to thank him and said: “The assistance of your team helping us clear the site of seized sound equipment and rubbish made a huge difference.”

Asham wood walk co-hosted with Somerset Wildlife Trust

A walk organized by the Somerset Wildlife Trust and co-hosted by them with by Alex Pick, Hanson UK Senior Landscape Architect took place early May. Alex says, "It was a beautiful day and the woodland was looking the best I have seen it with abundant wildlflowers, fantastic ongoing woodland management. Although we only had 4 people  we had some interesting discussions and the event was well received."

Walk in Asham Wood co-hosted with Somerset wildlife Trust.

Safe work, healthy life

Whatley Quarry.

Whatley quarry was among the UK business line winners at HeidelbergCement’s inaugural TEAM area safe work, healthy life awards conference held in London on March 18. Judging for the awards, which focus on housekeeping, health and safety management and environmental controls, began early last year. Competing sites were evaluated against a list of 15 criteria by their own staff, local management and visitors and over 6,500 individual assessments were logged on the intranet.

Supporting Step in Stone

Whatley was one of the quarries forming part of a Step in stone project this year.

Artist research trip, Whatley Quarry, Feb ’15. Photo Duncan Simey.

Artist research trip, Whatley Quarry, Feb ’15. Photo Duncan Simey

The following link provides an overview,selection of images and some revealing project numbers for step in stone: "Looking Back…."   

Site tours

Tours are arranged in partnership with the education team at the Somerset Earth Science Centre. They offer schools and adult groups the opportunity to see how a quarry operates and to find out how the limestone was made and what it is used for.

To arrange a visit please contact centre staff on: 01749 840156 or email gill@earthsciencecentre.org.uk

For more information please see www.earthsciencecentre.org.uk

Site liaison

David Searle, unit manager

Tel: 01373 452515
Email: david.searle@hanson.com


Click the pins for more information

Interesting facts:

The primary crusher has a capacity of 2,300 tonnes per hour. The secondary crushers are rated at 750tph each. Screenhouse capacity is 1,000tph. The asphalt plant capacity is 240tph, wash plant 200tph and rail loading facility 1,800tph.

Interesting fact:

Teams from Bath Spa University and the University of the West of England carried out projects at Whatley last year for HeidelbergCement's academic research competition The Quarry Life Award. Click on a study below to read more:

The feasibility of biodiversity enhancements in woodland ground flora around Whatley Quarry by Bath Spa University
The value of quarry restoration at Whatley Quarry to local econological networks by the University of the West of England

Interesting fact:

Most of the stone is used to make ready-mixed concrete, precast concrete products and asphalt. It is supplied direct to customer sites and our own depots by road or rail. We also have our own on-site concrete and asphalt plants

Become a supplier

Request more information on how to become a Hanson UK supplier.

Request information

Interesting fact:

There are planned reserves of 82.2 million tonnes giving a total life of around 20 years at current  output levels. We have a further 150mt of consented reserves at West Down.

What would you like to see on this page?

Question mark.

Tell us by completing a short form

Stay Safe... Stay Out of Quarries

Stay safe... Stay out of quarries.

Visit the Stay Safe facebook page