Different types of geosites and their protection
Geosites are locations where a distinctive landscape can be appreciated or where there is an exposure of rock or sediment. In both cases, they have value in helping us understand our world and its history. There are too many such places for us to actively protect them all, but we have identified the most valuable.
We have designated more than 200 Local Geological Sites (LGS) as part of a rigorous selection process. This takes account of their use for educational fieldwork and scientific study, their role in the historical development of Earth Science and aesthetic values. This process including notifying the planning authorities in the two counties. This means that if there are development applications that will affect a site, the developer should seek to avoid damage. The original name for such sites is Regionally Important Geological Sites (RIGS) which is actually a more informative name. They have the same status as Local Wildlife sites as designated by Nature Conservation Bodies. Lists of these LGS in Worcestershire and Herefordshire can be supplied on request. Further information can also be requested, but be aware that many sites are off-limits because they are dangerous or the owner does not permit access.
A higher level of protection is afforded to sites designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) by Natural England. These sites, which are protected by statutory law, display features that are rare or unique nationally. Sites can be designated for their wildlife or geological value or both and can include many specific locations, including Local Geological Sites. There are 36 designated for geology and/or geomorphology in the two counties and they can be searched for on the Government’s MAGIC website.
The three trail routes were devised to incorporate a section of the Geopark Way long distance walking trail, with each trail visiting former aggregate site/s that are located off the main trail.
This booklet takes a look at the aggregates industry as a whole, before exploring the aggregates industry within the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark