Conserving geodiversity is part of nature
conservation, which has been defined as ‘the
protection, preservation, management or
enhancement, and the improvement of understanding
and appreciation of flora, fauna and geological
and geomorphological features’.
The East of England has a rich and significant geodiversity,
however there are many
to the integrity and accessibility of this heritage,
and conservation is needed to protect and promote it for posterity.
interpretation panel at the Blakeney
esker SSSI, Norfolk
The statutory conservation of geological and geomorphological
features is part of the duties of National Parks, National Nature
Reserves, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs)
and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and it is
embedded in government planning policy through PPS9. The government
agency Natural England is responsible for managing SSSIs, and is also
managing the implementation of the European Landscape Convention.
The non-statutory conservation of geodiversity sites is mainly carried
out under the Regionally Important Geological / geomorphological Site
(RIGS) scheme, which is managed by local groups, while Local Geodiversity
Action Plans (LGAPs) also provide a framework for voluntary geodiversity
conservation at a local level. Many local landowners routinely conserve local geodiversity features as a part of
managing landscape, habitat and historic features on their land.
The Earth Science Conservation Classification system is a useful framework
for understanding the
theory and practice of geodiversity conservation.
Click here for an overview of
geodiversity conservation in the region.