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Warwickshire Local Geological Sites (LGS)

Local Geological Sites (LGS), formerly RIGS, are important sites that underpin and complement Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). RIGS were established in 1990 by the Nature Conservancy Council (NCC) (1973 to 1991) and continue to be actively supported by the UK statutory conservation agencies. The sites are selected by voluntary local groups according to the following nationally agreed criteria:

  • The value of a site for educational purposes
  • The value of a site for study by Earth scientists
  • The historical and aesthetic value of a site from an Earth science perspective

These sites do not have formal statutory protection in the same way as SSSIs. However, local groups notify local planning authorities of the sites that have been declared in their area and encourage the protection of the site through the planning process. WGCG is the local group responsible for the identification of LGSs in Warwickshire.

Warwickshire has one of the most varied selections of rocks in the country. It spans over 600 million years from the depths of the Precambrian period, with violent volcanic eruptions, through to the much more recent sands and gravels which formed during the Pleistocene ice age, whose latest phase was only 10,000 years ago.

Warwickshire has one of the most varied selections of rocks in the country. It spans over 600 million years from the depths of the Precambrian period, with violent volcanic eruptions, through to the much more recent sands and gravels which formed during the Pleistocene ice age, whose latest phase was only 10,000 years ago.

The rocks vary from hard lavas, sandstones of many colours, grey and honey coloured limestones, coal, and soft silts, clays and gravels. They reflect environmental conditions which at various times have been desert, marine, equatorial and arctic. The rock types also influence the scenery with, for example, harder limestones and ironstones. forming high ground such as Edge Hill in the of south Warwickshire. In rural areas the building materials of cottages and farms often reveal the nature of the local rocks.

The county boasts a superb variety of fossils from Cambrian triolobites to the huge range of Jurassic invertebrates. Unique reptile and amphibian bones and footprints from the Triassic are of special interest, while marine reptile remains from the Lower Jurassic, such as the Wilmcote plesiosaur, are equally spectacular.

Many rocks are commercially valuable, with quarries and mines being dug to extract them. Some rocks have been used for building stones and others as sources of metals like iron and manganese. Coal was exploited as fuel, clays for pottery and brick making; limestone provides cement and the sands and gravels are sources of aggregate. The county has many abandoned quarries and today, these give us perfect opportunities to see the underlying geology. — Ends —

WGCG cooperates on LGSs & SSSIs with:-

LGS News Update:Local Geological Sites, Condition Monitoring 2020” by Philip Henser. Page 25 of WGCG Spring 2021 Newsletter.

There are over 80 sites designated as LGS in Warwickshire. Information about each site can be accessed by browsing the links below.

Alphabetical and numerical lists

Geological map showing the location of each site

Table indicating rock formations present at each site

Designation of a site as a LGS does not confer a legal right of access. Unless the site is on a designated public right-of-way, the landowner’s permission is required before visiting.

Sites of Special Scientific Interest called SSSI or Triple-SI sites

Beyond LGSs, Warwickshire has 20 geological SSSI or ‘Triple-SI’ sites

Recently designated LGS sites include: –

96 Staircase Lane, Allesley
An outcrop of the Allesley Member of the Carboniferous Salop Formation (Warwickshire Group) is exposed on both sides of a road cutting.

97 Kenilworth Cutting, Coventry Road
Exposure of the Permian Kenilworth Sandstone Formation (Warwickshire Group) on the East side of a disused railway cutting.

98 The Dumble Tufa Springs
The site is a “finger” of woodland occupying a narrow gulley cut by a stream on the east side of Kingsbury Wood. It contains well developed tufa features in several locations.

99 Bell Green Road, Coventry
The main feature is a 21 metres long exposure of the Triassic Bromsgrove Sandstone Formation (Sherwood Sandstone Group).

100 Astley Castle – Moat
An exposure of the Whitacre Member of the Carboniferous Salop Formation (Warwickshire Group) beneath the curtain wall of the castle.

101 Astley Castle – Dark Lane
An exposure of the Whitacre Member of the Carboniferous Salop Formation (Warwickshire Group) on both sides of a sunken lane.

SSSI News update: See Page 18 of the Spring 2021 Newsletter (as a PDF) where an article by Brian Ellis, “Monitoring Warwickshire’s Geology SSSI” reports on five SSSIs; Griff Hill Quarry, Napton Hill Quarry, Cross Hands, Wolston Gravel Pit and, Ryton and Brandon Gravel Pits.

In the event of any development or planning consultation relating to any LGS or its surrounds,
please click to contact and e-mail: Local Geological Sites Officer

Last Updated on 05 May 2021