Different types of geosites and their protection


Granite vein Tank quarry, Malverns

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. To find out about booking a visit to Whitman’s Hill Geodiversity Discovery Site, go to

Whitman’s Hill Geodiversity Discovery Site – Earth Heritage Trust

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.

Tectonics explained by Nigel Woodcock at the Lickey Quartzite Barnt Green Road quarry.

For further information on the Geopark Way, please click on the links below

Long Distance Walking Trail

The trail offers varied walking alongside rivers, through forests, along ridges and across valley floors; all with majestic views to match.

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The Geopark Way Trail Guide

Each trail section within the guide is headed by a map detailing the route and sites of interest..

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Geopark Way Circular Trails

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.

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Exploring Aggregates along the Geopark Way

This booklet takes a look at the aggregates industry as a whole, before exploring the aggregates industry within the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark

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