Non-Statutory Geological Sites

DEFINITION: Geodiversity is the variety of rocks, fossils, minerals, landforms, soils and natural processes, such as weathering, erosion and sedimentation, that underlie and determine the character of our natural landscape and environment

GiGL works with the London Geodiversity Partnership to manage data related to the capital’s geodiversity sites. The London Geodiversity Partnership seeks to share good practice, influence policy and establish cross-London working for geodiversity.

The non-statutory designation of geological sites is one way of recognising and protecting important geodiversity and landscape features for future generations to enjoy.

Regionally Important Geological/Geomorphological Sites (RIGS)

RIGS are currently the most important non-statutory designated sites for geology and geomorphology. They are the geological equivalent to Sites of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation. RIGS represent an important educational, historical and recreational resource.

In London, RIGS have been selected by voluntary organisations South London RIGS, North West London RIGS and GeoEssex. Although not all sites have yet to be formally designated, sites should be protected as set out in Policy 7.20 of the London Plan.

Locally Important Geological Sites (LIGS)

The London boroughs may also designate certain areas as being of local geodiversity interest. They are equivalent to Sites of Borough or Local Importance for Nature Conservation and accorded equivalent protection.

What geodiverity data do we hold?

GiGL holds GIS data for all RIGS and LIGS in Greater London – – the geological equivalent of ecological SINCs. Each geological site has a citation with details of its geological interest. Click here for an example.

RIGS/LIGS are designated in stages:

  • Candidate RIGS/LIGS are those which have been audited by the London Geodiversity Partnership and have been deemed worthy of protection. They are listed on the London Geodiversity Partnership and Greater London Authority websites but are not yet identified in London’s foundations.
  • Recommended RIGS/LIGS are those recommended by the London Geodiversity Partnership, identified in London’s foundations
  • Proposed RIGS/LIGS are those included in draft Borough Development Plan Documents
  • Adopted RIGS/LIGS are those identified in adopted Borough Development Plan Documents

The content of RIGS and LIGS citations is reviewed periodically by the London Geodiversity Partnership.

Information on geodiversity sites is available in the data search service. For more information please contact GiGL via the contacts page.

Further Information

Further information on London’s geodiversity can be found by clicking the links below:

London Geodiversity Partnership Website

London’s Foundation Supplementary Planning Guidance

London Geodiversity Partnership Action Plan

Character and Context Supplementary Planning Guidance

All London Green Grid Supplementary Planning Guidance