Shropshire History

Shropshire SSSIs

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A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) is a designation applied to an area to offer it protection against development or destruction. SSSIs in England were originally set up by the National Parks & Access to the Countryside Act 1949, subsequently amended by the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 and Countryside & Rights of Way Act 2000. The designation can either be a Biological SSSI or a Geological SSSI, with some areas having both.

 

Local planning authorities are required to consult the appropriate conservation body over any planning applications which might affect a SSSI. The SSSI status is not an absolute guarantee of protection as it might be over-ridden by some more important factor, eg a requirement for a major road or pipeline. The owners and occupiers of SSSIs are required to obtain consent from the appropriate conservation body if they want to carry out certain work on a SSSI area or even use it for grazing. The conservation bodies responsible for these are :-

 

England - Natural England

Scotland - Scottish Natural Heritage

Wales - Natural Resources Wales.

 

Biological SSSIs may be selected for various reasons. Within each area of Britain, a cross-selection of the best examples of each significant natural habitat are selected and, for rarer habitats, all examples may be selected. Similarly, sites important for certain species of plant and animal may be selected, ie

 

Habitat Criteria

Artificial

Bogs

Coastal and marine

Fens

Freshwater

Lowland Grasses

Lowland Heath

Non-Mountainous Rock

Upland

Woodlands

 

Species Criteria

Algae

Amphibians

Birds

Bryophytes

Fish (Freshwater and Estuarine)

Fungi

Invertebrates

Lichens

Mammals

Reptiles

Vascular plants.

 

Conservation of biological SSSIs usually involves continuation of the natural and artificial processes which resulted in their development and survival. An example of this is to continue the traditional grazing of heathland or chalk grassland.

 

Geological SSSIs are selected on the basis of one site for each geological feature in Britain. For instance, it may have rock strata containing fossils or be of importance for stratigraphy. There are two types of Geological SSSI :-

 

Exposure Sites - where quarries, disused railway cuttings, cliffs or outcrops give access to extensive geological features, such as particular rock layers. Conservation of these sites usually involves maintenance of access for future study.

 

Deposit Sites - are features which are limited in extent or physically delicate, eg small deposits of sediment, mine tailings, caves and other landforms. If such features become damaged, they cannot be recreated and conservation usually involves protecting the feature from erosion or other damage.

 

There is a Searchable Database for SSSIs.

 

 

Gazetteer of SSSIs

 

B = Biological SSSI; G = Geological SSSI

Click on the relevant link to see more details

 

Allscott Settling Ponds  B (SJ599129) 

A series of water-filled lagoons of various sizes and depths, which received water from an adjacent sugar factory that has now closed. They support a bird community of county importance.

 

Alveley Grindstone Quarry  G (SO758848)

Exposures of red Keele Sandstone of the late Carboniferous Period. The sandstones infill very large river channels with accumulations of shale fragments in the channel beds. Of particular interest is the presence of plant fossils, which have been interpreted as conifer remains

 

Attingham Park  B (SJ550096)

Variety of saproxylic invertebrates, including many species which are rare in Shropshire and are nationally scarce. These are dependent upon the large number of mature trees and upon the availability of large quantities of deadwood.

 

Betton Dingle & Gulley Green  B G (SJ317021)

Undisturbed dingle woodland, mainly consisting of ash and sessile oak. Wych Elm was previously abundant but is now scarce as a result of Dutch Elm Disease. Nationally important section for the Llanvirn Series, part of the Ordovician System.

 

Blodwel Marsh  B (SJ264234)

Rich area of fen pasture on base-rich peat, one of a range of small peaty grasslands in north-west Shropshire.

 

Bomere, Shomere & Betton Pools  B (SJ504078)

Part of nationally important series of open water and peatland sites. These have developed in natural depressions in the glacial drift left by the ice sheets some 15,000 years ago.

 

Brown Moss B (SJ562395)

Part of nationally important series of open water and peatland sites. These have developed in natural depressions in the glacial drift left by the ice sheets some 15,000 years ago.

 

Brownheath Moss  B (SJ460300)

Part of nationally important series of open water and peatland sites. These have developed in natural depressions in the glacial drift left by the ice sheets some 15,000 years ago.

 

Buildwas River Section G (SJ640045)

Nationally important geological locality providing exposures of highly fossiliferous rocks of Silurian age.

 

Buildwas Sand Quarry  G (SJ644041)

The site is located in the area of the most extensively preserved alluvial terrace deposits of the Severn and includes the lower suite of terraces and the floodplain terrace.

 

Bullhill Brook  G (SJ55480168)

The only site where a fossil fauna has been recovered from the Arenaceous Beds of the Tremadoc Series.

 

Bush Wood & High Wood  B (SO708825)

A large block of woodland on the clays and sandstones of the Coal Measures. Most of the woodland is sessile oak.

 

Catherton Common B  (SO635785)

Extensive area of wet and dry heathland, part of which has been modified in the past by coal mining. The diversity of the area is increased by the presence of streams and wet flushes.

 

Chermes Dingle G (SJ6114070)

The most complete and best exposed section through the lower part of the Shineton Shales of the Tremadoc Series.

 

Chorley Covert & Deserts Wood  B (SO705840)

Large area of woodland, mainly on acid soils, which have developed from the Kinlet Beds of the Coal Measures. Most of the wood is dominated by Sessile Oak. Several uncommon species of butterfly occur here including the White Admiral, which here is at the northern limit of its range.

 

Clarepool Moss  B (SJ433342)

Part of nationally important series of open water and peatland sites. These have developed in natural depressions in the glacial drift left by the ice sheets some 15,000 years ago.

 

Claverley Road Cutting  G (SO794939)

A 30 metre section in the lower Triassic Wildmoor Sandstone Formation.

 

Clee Hill Quarries  G (SO594761)

Exposures of the Clee Hills Sill, which was emplaced into unconsolidated Coal Measure sediments.

 

Clunton Coppice  B (SO342805)

A remnant of the oak coppice which was formerly abundant in this part of Shropshire.

 

Comley Quarry  G (SO484962)

Shows part of the Lower and Middle Cambrian rock sequence. The fossil faunas, particularly those of the Comley Limestones, are abundant and diverse and provide a British standard sequence with which other faunas can be compared.

 

Cornbrook Dingle  G (SO602757)

Exposure of the Cornbrook Sandstone Formation of the Upper Carboniferous series.

 

Coston Farm Quarries  G (SO391804)

Series of exposures of the upper Ordovician System. The Costonian Stage of the Ordovician Period is named after this area.

 

Coundmoor Brook  G (SJ558037)

Nationally important geological site providing exposures of fossiliferous rocks of the Harnagian Stage of the Ordovician age.

 

Craig Sychtyn  B (SJ232258)

West-facing Carboniferous limestone crag with woodland, scrub, grassland and rock face communities.

 

Crofts Mill Pasture  B (SJ305246)

Damp peaty pasture, situated between the Montgomery Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal and the River Morda.

 

Cuckoopen Coppice  B (SO538800)

Mixed deciduous woodland on base-rich soil which has developed over Old Red Sandstone.

 

Derrington Meadow  B (SO608908)

One of the few unimproved, traditionally managed hay fields remaining in Shropshire.

 

Devil's Hole, Morville  G (SO672929)

A section through rocks of the Old Red Sandstone ,including four horizons which are important sources of fossils of primitive fish.

 

Earl's Hill & Habberley Valley  G (SJ411048)

Hill of Pre-Cambrian rocks and the adjacent wooded valley of the Habberley Brook. It is notable for its wide variety of habitat types, and it includes nationally important geological localities.

 

Eaton Track  G (SO501900)

The banks of a sunken track provide important exposures of a sequence of mudstones and limestones, part of the Wenlock Series of the Silurian System.

 

Farley Dingle  G (SJ637026)

Exposures of the Farley Member in the Wenlock Series of the Silurian System, composed of alternating layers of shale and nodular limestone.

 

Fenemere  B (SJ445228)

Part of nationally important series of open water and peatland sites. These have developed in natural depressions in the glacial drift left by the ice sheets some 15,000 years ago.

 

Fenn's, Whixall, Bettisfield, Wem & Cadney Mosses  B (SJ490365)

Part of nationally important series of open water and peatland sites. These have developed in natural depressions in the glacial drift left by the ice sheets some 15,000 years ago.

 

Fernhill Pastures B  (SJ321328)

Series of traditionally managed fen-meadows situated on gently sloping ground alongside the River Perry in north-west Shropshire.

 

Flat Coppice  B (SO394868)

The largest surviving semi-natural remnant of the once extensive Plowden Woods lying on the southern side of the Onny Valley.

 

Granham's Moor Quarry  G (SJ389036)

The only clear exposure in the area of the junction between the Cambrian and Ordovician Systems.

 

Green Farm Quarry  G (SO607819)

Important site locally for studies of vertebrate palaeontology. The Old Red Sandstone rocks here have yielded a fossil vertebrate fauna of the Devonian age. Fifteen species of fish have been recorded from the site and this is the type locality for seven species, five of which are unique.

 

Grinshill Quarries  G (SJ525238)

Site has yielded excellent fossil remains of the small Middle Triassic reptile Rhynchosaurus, including specimens used to define the species.

 

Hencott Pool  B (SJ490160)

Part of nationally important series of open water and peatland sites. These have developed in natural depressions in the glacial drift left by the ice sheets some 15,000 years ago.

 

Hill Houses & Crumpsbrook Meadows  B (SO634791)

Series of traditionally managed herb-rich meadows lying on the eastern flanks of Titterstone Clee Hill.

 

Hillend Quarry  G (SO396876)

The Pentamerus Beds of the Silurian series overlie Precambrian strata, displaying the maximum extent of local pre-Llandovery angular unconformity.

 

Hodnet Heath B (SJ620262)

A small remnant of the heathland which was formerly more extensive in North Shropshire.

 

Hope Bowdler Outcrops  G (SO475925)

Two exposures showing the basal conglomerate of the Harnage Shales of the Ordovician series resting discordantly on tilted Uriconian volcanics of the Precambrian series.

 

Hope Valley  G (SJ342015)

Exposures of Ordovician rocks and the unconformable contact between them and the overlying Silurian strata.

 

Hope Valley Meadows  B (SJ340009)

Two traditionally managed herb-rich meadows lying on the eastern side of Hope Valley.

 

Hughley Brook  G (SO566984)

Important geological locality, designated by international agreement as the world standard for the base of the mid-Silurian Wenlock Series. Hughley Brook provides repeated exposures of the base of Wenlock Shale and its contact with the underlying purple shales of the Llandovery Series.

 

Huglith Mine  G (SJ405016)

Good exposures of barite mineralisation in red beds. The series of mine workings follow the Huglith Main Vein, which occupies a fault intersecting the major Pontesford-Linley Lineament to the west.

 

Lin Can Moss  B (SJ375211)

Part of nationally important series of open water and peatland sites. These have developed in natural depressions in the glacial drift left by the ice sheets some 15,000 years ago.

 

Lincoln Hill  G (SJ669038)

Fossil locality showing strata of Wenlock Series.

 

Linley Big Wood  G (SO338949)

A 4-metre wide strip on the west side of a forestry track, covering a distance of 800 metres in the northern half of the wood. The site consists of a low, overgrown bank containing sporadic exposures of the bedrock.

 

Llanymynech & Llynclys Hills  B (SJ267227)

Group of Carboniferous Limestone hills which have been extensively mined and quarried for stone and minerals. There are extensive grassland, scrub and woodland communities and also natural rock faces, screes, a series of abandoned quarries and areas affected by past lead and copper mining.

 

Long Mynd  BG (SO420950)

An extensive tract of dry heathland, dominated by heather. It forms the type locality for the Longmyndian succession of the Precambrian series.

 

Longville - Stanway Road Section  G (SO539927)

Exposures of the Wenlock series of the Silurian system, which enable correlations to be made between Shropshire’s standard sections for the Wenlock and the overlying Ludlow series.

 

Lydebrook Dingle  B (SJ661060)

Considered to be the best example of ancient, relatively undisturbed woodland in this part of Shropshire.

 

Marked Ash Meadows  B (SO513904)

Three traditionally managed herb-rich hay meadows located on the top of the dip slope of Wenlock Edge.

 

Marsh Wood Quarry  G (SO444890)

Exposures of the Upper Cheney Longville Flags.

 

Marton Pool  B (SJ296027)

Part of nationally important series of open water and peatland sites. These have developed in natural depressions in the glacial drift left by the ice sheets some 15,000 years ago.

 

Meadowtown Quarry  G (SJ311012)

Exposure of the Meadowtown part of the Llandeilo zone of the Ordovician series.

 

Melverley Farm  B (SJ584407)

Several fields have a long history of traditional management. Four are managed for pasture, with grazing by cattle, and the remainder for hay with aftermath grazing by either sheep or cattle. The fields are bounded by large and diverse hedgerows, which in many places extend out in scrubby banks into the fields. Many of the field corners have small ponds or areas of damp grassland from where sand has been dug at some time in the past.

 

Minsterley Meadows  B (SJ379047)

Two traditionally managed herb-rich meadows situated on the eastern edge of the village of Minsterley.

 

Montgomery Canal  B (SJ328257)

Section of abandoned canal from Aston Locks to Keeper's Bridge. Rich in submerged and floating aquatic plants, with some species which were formerly recorded in the meres but are no longer found in them.

 

Morton Pool & Pasture  B (SJ301239)

The pool has fen and carr vegetation around it. The damp peaty pasture west of Morton Pool is exceptionally rich in flowering plants and is one of the best examples of damp grassland in Shropshire.

 

Muxton Marsh  B (SJ716134)

Complex of habitats in an area left semi-derelict by past coal-mining. Impeded drainage caused by spoil dumping has contributed to the formation of wetland habitats here.

 

New Hadley Brickpit  G (SJ682116)

Exposes sediments belonging to the Etruria Marl.

 

Newport Canal  B (SJ734192)

A length of 2 kilometres of disused canal with a range of submerged and broad-leaved plant communities, a continuous narrow fringe of marginal swamp and in some places more extensive areas of fen.

 

Oak Dingle  G (SO565871)

A section through the boundary between Downtonian and Dittonian deposits, which approximates to the Silurian – Devonian boundary. It contains several beds of fossil fish, yielding a number of different species.

 

Old River Bed, Shrewsbury  B (SJ497148)

Part of the former bed of the River Severn, which has been cut off from the main course of the river since the last glaciation. Extensive areas of sedge fen now fill this cut-off meander.

 

Onny River Section  G (SO425854)

Important exposures of the Caradoc Series of the Ordovician system. The rock outcrops are recognised as the standard or type section of the Actonian and Onnian Stages of the Ordovician Period.

 

Oss Mere  B (SJ565438)

Part of nationally important series of open water and peatland sites. These have developed in natural depressions in the glacial drift left by the ice sheets some 15,000 years ago.

 

Pennerley Meadows  B (SO357991)

A series of meadows with unimproved grassland on the west side of the Stiperstones.

 

Prees Branch Canal  B (SJ497337)

Disused canal which has a variety of wetland habitats and a rich flora and fauna.

 

Prees Heath  B (SJ558368)

A remnant of the formerly extensive lowland heaths of north Shropshire.

 

Prescott Corner  G (SO663811)

Exposures of the Upper Devonian Farlovian Sandstones, which have yielded a series of fossil vertebrates (mainly fish), some of which are unique to this formation

 

Prince's Rough  B (SO470866)

A traditionally managed herb-rich hay meadow situated on the dip slope of Wenlock Edge close to the hamlet of Westhope.

 

Rhos Fiddle  B (SO208853)

Remaining area of the old Clun Forest, consisting mainly of heathland with wet flushes and a shallow pool.

 

River Dee  BG (SJ417532)

A range of river types and migratory fish. The English section of the river is nationally important because the otter and club-tailed dragonfly are found there.

 

River Severn  G (SJ396153)

At Montford is a classic example of an underfit stream of the Osage type.

 

River Teme  B  (SO521697)

The English section is important as a habitat for Brook Lamprey, Bullhead, Freshwater Pearl Mussel, Grayling, Salmon, Stream Crayfish and Twaite Shad.

 

Ruewood Pastures  B (SJ496280)

Two low-lying pasture fields adjacent to the River Roden, part of a small number of damp pastures remaining in North Shropshire.

 

Sheinton Brook  G (SJ607040)

Outcrop of Sheinton Shales in the Tremadoc Series.

 

Shelve Church Section  G (SO337990)

Famous exposure of the Mytton Flags of Lower Ordovician age.

 

Shelve Pool  B (SO335979)

Man-made pool, possibly a relic of lead mining, of particular interest for its reed swamp and fen communities.

 

Shrawardine Pool B (SJ398162)

Part of nationally important series of open water and peatland sites. These have developed in natural depressions in the glacial drift left by the ice sheets some 15,000 years ago.

 

Snailbeach Mine  G (SJ374023)

A series of lead-barium veins, within the Ordovician Mytton Formation, that have been mined for lead since Roman times.

 

Soudley Quarry  G (SO477918)

Exposures of rocks of the Caradoc series of the Ordovician system. The section exposed shows the Horderly Sandstone Formation overlain by the Alternata Limestone Formation.

 

Spy Wood & Aldress Dingle  G (SJ279959)

Outstanding cross-section through a large proportion of the middle to upper Ordovician rock succession of the Shelve area.

 

Stiperstones & Hollies  BG (SJ370000)

Heathland vegetation varying with altitude and aspect. Exposures of Arenig sedimentary rocks formed about 475 million years ago during the early Ordovician Period. The ridge is formed of durable Stiperstones Quartzite, whereas the remainder of the site is underlain by Mytton Flags and Tankerville Flags.

 

Stocking Meadows  B (SO653802)

Three fields which together make up one of the best examples of traditionally managed, unimproved pasture in Shropshire.

 

Sweat Mere & Crose Mere  BG (SJ434304)

Part of nationally important series of open water and peatland sites. These have developed in natural depressions in the glacial drift left by the ice sheets some 15,000 years ago. Crose Mere is important for reconstructing Devensian late-glacial and Flandrian vegetation and environmental history in the north Midlands.

 

Sweeney Fen  B (SJ275250)

Small area of base-rich marsh and fen which has developed adjacent to a limestone stream. A thin deposit of peat has accumulated.

 

Tar Grove Quarry  G (SO525780)

A diverse range of fossil plants of Gedinnian (Lower Devonian) age, consisting of about 20 species of algae, nematophytes and primitive vascular plants.

 

Teme Bank  G (SO506744)

Internationally significant as stratotypes within the Upper Silurian (approximately 410 million years old) and containing a very important fossil fauna.

 

Temeside  G (SO519742)

The exposed rocks show a channel-fill within the mudstone and siltstone sequence of the Temeside Beds.

 

Thatchers Wood & Westwood Covert  B (SO703904)

A predominantly damp wood in the valley of the Mor Brook, with areas of dry rocky woodland on steep slopes in Westwood Covert.

 

The Lump, Priestweston  B (SO291982)

Area of short grassland, scrub and rock-face habitats with an exceptionally rich flora.

 

Tick Wood & Benthall Edge  B (SJ650030)

Extensive area of ancient native mixed deciduous woodland on north and west facing scarp slopes overlooking the Severn Gorge.

 

Titterstone Clee  BG (SO595780)

Area of rough acidic grassland or bracken, including a series of disused quarries. Exposure of coal bearing strata in the Clee Hill Coalfield, clearly showing a sequence of grey shales and sandstones which lie conformably on the Cornbrook Sandstone Formation.

 

Trefonen Marshes  B (SJ245265)

Series of base-rich marshes and areas of dry Carboniferous limestone grassland in the valley of a tributary of the River Morda. Some of the damp areas beside the stream have developed into alder woodland.

 

Trewern Brook  G (SJ304116)

The best section through the entire Trewern Brook Mudstone Formation.

 

Tyrley Canal Cutting  G (SJ697307)

The best available site in the area for the Keele Formation, which is probably Late Carboniferous in age.

 

Upper Millichope Stream Section  G (SO519897)

A long stratigraphical section through the Lower Ludlow Lower and Middle Elton Formation.

 

View Edge Quarries  G (SO426807)

Exposure of the Upper Bringewood Formation of the late Silurian Period. These rocks are well known for their shelly faunas, particularly strophomenid brachiopods.

 

Wenlock Edge  BG (SJ610003)

The scarp slope of Wenlock Edge is continuously wooded but replanting with conifers has reduced and fragmented the original broadleaved woodland. The world-famous Wenlock Limestone outcrops here.

 

White Mere  B (SJ414330)

Part of nationally important series of open water and peatland sites. These have developed in natural depressions in the glacial drift left by the ice sheets some 15,000 years ago.

 

Whitwell Coppice  BG (SJ620020)

Mixed deciduous woodland characteristic of the Wenlock Shales and Limestones. Internationally recognised as the standard reference section for the base of the Homerian Stage, the upper half of the Wenlock Series of the Silurian System.

 

Wrekin & Ercall  BG (SJ630082)

A range of woodland vegetation which occurs at the northern end of the Wrekin and on the Ercall. The best and most varied exposures of Uriconian rocks in England.

 

Wolverton Wood & Alcaston Coppice  B (SO468872)

Much of the scarp woodland of Wenlock Edge has been reforested with conifers. These remain as semi-natural broadleaved woodland.

 

Wyre Forest  B (SO750760)

One of the largest ancient woodlands in England.