Silverton Mill Remediation Project wins Best Biodiversity Enhancement Award

DS Smith is pleased to confirm that it has received the Brownfield Briefing Award’s Best Biodiversity Enhancement Award for its environmental remediation project at the site of its former papermaking mill at Silverton, Devon, UK.

Silverton Mill was one of the UK’s oldest paper mills, and was located within the Killerton National Trust estate in Devon. It closed its doors in 1999 after a paper manufacturing history that had lasted over 200 years, but had left the surrounding area contaminated with industrial waste. The mill buildings themselves rapidly decayed in the years after the machinery was removed from the site.

One of DS Smith’s corporate goals is to lead the way in sustainability, and when environmental and safety concerns around the site increased, the company launched an extensive demolition and environmental remediation project to improve the site on behalf of all of the mill’s former owners.

The remediation project saw close collaboration between DS Smith, the National Trust, John F. Hunt Remediation, and the Environment Agency.

Mill history
The site had been in use for industrial papermaking since the early 1800s, and as a location for grain mills since around the 1520s. When DS Smith were manufacturing paper on-site, during 1978 to 1999, the mill contained 3 paper machines and produced up to 45,000 tonnes of high quality paper every year. The River Culm supplied water to the mill through a culvert – a tunnel built to allow the flow of water – that ran directly underneath the site. The buildings and most of the culvert needed to be demolished to make the location safe for wildlife as well as for passers-by, and to return it to its natural environment.
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