Exploring West Sussex geology
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Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and
Regionally Important Geological Sites (RIGS)

A number of sites in West Sussex are recorded as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) or Regionally Important Geological and Geomorphological Sites (RIGS).

 

Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

 

Many geological sites in West Sussex are protected under UK legislation by being designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) by Natural England. These are sites that are considered to be of special interest because of their geological or physiographical features. You can find out about the details of the designated sites in West Sussex at Natural England and searching by locality.

 

Regionally Important Geological & Geomorphological Sites (RIGS)

 

Many more geological sites are on the Regionally Important Geological and Geomorphological Sites (RIGS) list. These are designated by locally developed criteria and are currently the most important places for geology and geomorphology outside statutorily protected land such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest. It is one way of recognising and protecting important Earth science and landscape features for future generations to enjoy. For general information on RIGS, have a look at the UK RIGS site.

 

In West Sussex, sites were identified by a panel working at the Booth Museum of Natural History in Brighton from 1993 to 2006. Whilst there is no legal protection arising from a RIGS designation, it does draw attention to the importance of the site and the value in protecting its future. From 2011, the RIGS database has been managed by the Sussex Geodiversity Partnership, with site information being made available through the Internet.