The Lespezi quarry is located in the middle of the Carpathian Mountains approximately 20 km to the north of Fieni. The surroundings of the quarry are characterized by dense coniferous forests. A water reservoir is located 4 km to the northeast.
The coordinates in Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM: WGS84) are: 35T375155, E5018103.
In the Lespezi quarry limestone for cement and lime is extracted. Limestone represents a massive deposit situated in the Carpathian Mountain named Lespezi. The total thickness of the limestone layer is 350 – 400 m and derives from the geological age Tithonic in Stramberg facies. The limestone deposit is not a monolith; it is a faulted deposit with three systems of faults. The raw material presents a lot of small or large fissures, filled or not with CaCO3 or residual clay. The bedrock of this deposit consists of metamorphic schist with geological which derives from Proterozoic age. At the upper part of the deposit there is gneiss which represents the overburden and small quantities of soil.
The quarry lies on the uppermost slope (1230 – 1670 m) of a mountain massif and reaches up to the mountain’s peak. It is surrounded by large beech and – mostly – spruce forests. The summit of the mountain contains an area of pastures and is free of trees. These parts of the area are used to graze livestock. Surrounding mountain slopes regularly contain large rocky outcrops and cliff faces and are covered in spruce (upper parts) or beech (lower parts) forests. The quarry is visible from the valley at a distance of more than 25 km (depending on weather conditions).
The size of the mining area is 89.2 ha. In the inactive part of the quarry the restoration activity started on 2.5 ha where alpine grasses were sawn.
The restoration concept of the quarry is focussed on the needs of blending the quarry site into the surrounding landscape by incorporating the high cliff faces with caves and crevices, deep slopes, spruce and beech forest and sparsely vegetated alpine meadows.
The extraction site is located at the limit of Bucegi Natural Park Habitat Directive “Bucegi”, ROSCI0013. A survey map of the protected areas is attached.
The Lespezi quarry offers a range of typical and various mining habitats. The main habitats are as follows: bare and sparsely vegetated work horizons (benches), steep slopes, a large range of various screes, few groves with bushes and trees and larger remains of native habitats.
The dominating habitat types are road sides, screes and debris dumps with plant communities of coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara), flattened meadow grass (Poa compressa) and willows (Salix spp.). The degree of coverage of vegetation is changing according to the age of the sites and the content of fine material.
In older parts of the quarry the disturbed areas and also the road sides are resettled by oligoto mesotrophic grassland communities. The degree of trees and bushes can be high in areas with bordering wood stands as along the conveyor belt. The habitats look quite native and are species rich in some cases. Typical plant species are bellflower (Campanula spp.), rock rose (Helianthemum sp.) and bedstraw (Galium sp.) etc. In this area are also various trees and bushes as spruce (Picea abies), maple (Acer spp.) and willow (Salix caprea).
Especially in the northwestern part of the mining site large remains of native mesotrophic grassland habitats and their typical soils are present. A typical plant species there is Deschampsia cespitosa (tufted hair grass).
Habitats of nature conservation value have developed in an old quarry part in the southeast and the typical tree species are mainly birch (Betula sp.), willow (Salix spp.) and sometimes beech (Fagus sylvatica).
The flora found in the perimeter of Lespezi Quarry, an integral part of Bucegi Mountains, is particularly rich and interesting. Such a rich flora is due first of all to the relief, climate, altitude, lithological and geological structure conditions and, not in the last place, the position of the part of the Alpine Bio-Geographical Region. Out of the cormophytes, orchid species hold the supremacy in Lespezi Quarry, thanks to the limited anthropic impact here.
The fauna found in Lespezi Quarry and its immediate vicinity is well represented by invertebrate as well as vertebrate species. Out of the protected species of mammals found in the perimeter of Lespezi Quarry and its surroundings, 2 priority Natura 2000 species were identified - Ursus arctos (a frequently found specie) and Canis lupus (Linnaeus, 1758).
In total, 73 species of birds have been recorded, 71 of which in the close proximity of the quarry. For five species it has been determined that they benefit directly from limestone exploitation and are more numerous on the quarry site compared to areas around the quarry: Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis, Common Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros and Pied Wagtail do not seem to be disturbed by the presence of people and even of heavy machinery, Crag Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris can be found breeding on the cliffs formed by limestone exploitation in higher numbers compared to revitalized parts of the quarry, while being almost completely absent from the natural cliffs, House Martin Delichon urbica, is present on the quarry in large numbers, and for breeding, this species prefer buildings within the quarry site even though it is also present on the manmade cliffs in small numbers.
For many species it has been determined that they benefit indirectly from the limestone exploitation, mostly because they utilize either habitats covered with pioneer vegetation or open space for hunting. The most important are Buzzard Buteo buteo, Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus, Kestrel Falco tinnunculus, Hobby Falco subbuteo but also Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus, Raven Corvus corax and some passerines.