Minerals

Context

Geological Conservation Review (GCR) sites are selected for, and grouped according to, GCR blocks, which are site-selection categories for nationally important Earth science sites.  There are around 100 'blocks' and about 3,000 GCR sites in Britain.  Each 'block' represents a particular geological age or Earth science theme, such as Marine Permian Stratigraphy, Jurassic–Cretaceous Reptilia, Caledonian Igneous Rocks and Quaternary of Scotland.
 
The mineral blocks represent scientifically-important, mineral-bearing rock bodies, produced as the result of igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary processes, including those that:
  • have metal, or metal-ore-bearing rock bodies (e.g. gold, tin, lead, copper, zinc and iron lodes);
  • provide evidence for the geological development of British mineral-bearing rocks, and co-incidentally have led to its mining heritage;
  • provide materials such as china clay, barite, gypsum, and rare crystalline materials, such as Blue John, zeolites or garnet. 
All of these provide evidence for the geological development of the United Kingdom.
 

Summary statistics

  A/SSSI Total
Favourable condition 86% 86%
Main monitoring coverage E, S  
Reported assessments 120 120
Completeness of assessments approx.66%  
Distribution of features   UK
 

Number of assessments reported by country and site type

Country SSSI/ASSI
England 86
Scotland 33
Wales 0
Northern Ireland 1
United Kingdom 120
 

SSSI features

List of SSSI and ASSI interest features in this reporting category

Interest feature name  
Formal name Informal name No. of assessments reported
Mineralogy Mineralogy 1
Mineralogy of Peak District, Leicestershire, Cheshire & Shropshire Mineralogy of Peak District, Leicestershire, Cheshire & Shropshire 19
Mineralogy of Scotland Mineralogy of Scotland 33
Mineralogy of South West England Mineralogy of South West England 30
Mineralogy of the Lake District Mineralogy of the Lake District 16
Mineralogy of the Mendips Mineralogy of the Mendips 8
Mineralogy of the Pennines Mineralogy of the Pennines 13
 
This list has not been fully standardised at a UK level yet. It is intended to show the principal constituent "feature types" for this reporting category.
 

Maps - distribution

UK distibution of reported interest features

Distribution of reported interest features.

Map showing the locations of the 10km squares in which at least one condition assessment has been reported. It does not show features that have not yet been assessed.

 

Maps - SSSI

Current condition of SSSI/ASSI features Condition of SSSI/ASSI features, with those currently reported as unfavourable-recovering shown as favourable
Current condition of SSSI/ASSI features
Distribution of SSSI/ASSI features showing assessments of favourability (where unfavourable-recovering is counted as unfavourable).
Condition of SSSI/ASSI features, with those currently reported as unfavourable-recovering shown as favourable
The implication of the unfavourable-recovering condition assessments is that at some point in the future these features should become favourable. This map shows the effect of that recovery by counting the favourable and unfavourable-recovering assessments together.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: we do not have information on the timescale of the predicted recovery, which may be influenced by many past, natural and human related factors. A sustained sympathetic management regime is more likely to result in favourable condition being attained.

Key: Proportion of assessed features on 10km squares that are favourable:

SSSI map legend - Proportion of assessed features on 10km squares that are favourable

 

Details of how these maps were produced

 

Condition summary

Reporting category condition summary on SSSI/ASSI sites

This lists the 10 different condition assessments and presents a bar chart showing the number of features within the SSSI series. Note that we are unable to estimate the total number of SSSI/ASSI features because we do not have an overall list of notified interest features for these designations.

 

NB favourable unclassified and unfavourable unclassified have been used in this first six year cycle to get around difficulties in identifying trends in condition as common standards monitoring is implemented. It is expected that these categories will not be used for subsequent assessments of a feature.

 

Condition assessment - SSSI features

The number and proportion of assessments for SSSI/ASSI interest features falling into each of the condition categories
The number and proportion of assessments for SSSI/ASSI interest features falling into each of the condition categories. Note that the �unfavourable� category includes all reports of unfavourable condition except �unfavourable recovering� which is shown as a separate segment.
 

Adverse activities

The number of interest features where an activity has been reported as being implicated in the "unfavourable" condition of a feature
The number of interest features where an activity has been reported as being implicated in the "unfavourable" condition of a feature. More than one adverse activity may be reported for each feature.
 

Management measures

The measures summary bar chart lists the management measures relevant to the reporting category
For each "measure" the chart shows the number of interest features where that measure has been taken on a site to improve or maintain the condition of an interest feature. More than one measure may be reported for each feature assessed.
 

Interpretation

About two-thirds of sites with mineral features are accounted for in the report; 86% of them are reported in favourable condition.  This is about the average for geological features and well above the average for all features combined.  7.5% of features reported are partially or completely destroyed.  This stands-out compared to either geological or all features.
 
Like volcanic rocks, the reasons reported for unfavourable condition are through the feature(s) being obscured in some way.  The minerals category stands out as more susceptible to destruction, and this is partly a consequence of the localised nature of the features.  In each of the cases where this is reported, it is the result of removal of the mineral specimens or mineral-bearing rock, such that the feature is reduced or no longer present at the site.