London’s foundations protecting the geodiversity of the capital

Barron, Hugh; Thompson, Joanna; Aldiss, Don; Woods, Mark; Harrison, Anna. 2009 London’s foundations protecting the geodiversity of the capital. London, UK, Greater London Authority.

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This report describes a geodiversity audit of London commissioned by a partnership led by the Greater London Authority (GLA), which includes the British Geological Survey (BGS), Natural England, Government Office for London, London Biodiversity Partnership, London Borough of Lambeth, Harrow and Hillingdon Geological Society, South London London RIGS Groups, Hanson UK and Queen Mary College, University of London. The project was funded by an Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund grant from Natural England plus additional support from the GLA, BGS and Natural England London Region. The audit began with a review of the available geodiversity documentation for London including: BGS field maps, databases and publications; Regional Important Geological Sites (RIGS) Group information; Natural England Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Geological Conservation Review (GCR) documentation; and documentation and data from the GLA and London Boroughs. An initial list of around 470 sites with potential for geodiversity value was compiled from this information. This list was then narrowed down to 100 for further assessment by exporting site locations to a GIS and cross-checking against digital aerial photography backed up by BGS staff local geological expertise. Using the procedure set out in this report field auditing was carried out by BGS staff and the South London RIGS Group between November 2007 and April 2008. From the list of 100 sites, 35 sites were found to be suitable for detailed auditing. Harrow and Hillingdon Geological Society audited a further site in November 2008, bringing the total to 36 sites. Using the criteria set out in this report 14 of the 36 sites are recommended for designation as Regionally Important Geological/geomorphological Sites (RIGS) in borough Local Development Documents. Of the 33 London boroughs, RIGS are recommended in eight, with five in Bromley, three in Croydon and one each in Lewisham, Ealing, Greenwich, Harrow, Hillingdon and Bexley. Using the criteria set out in this report 15 of the 36 sites have the potential to be designated as Locally Important Geological Sites (LIGS). These sites are located in nine boroughs, three in Waltham Forest, two in Bromley, two in Islington and one each in Barnet, Lewisham, Redbridge, Wandsworth, Southwark and Sutton. Planning proposals should have regard to geodiversity in order to implement strategic and local policies. Sites should be protected, managed and enhanced and, where ppropriate, new development should provide improvements to the geodiversity value of a site. This can include measures that promote public access, study, interpretation and appreciation of geodiversity. In addition to individual sites of geodiversity interest, Greater London has distinctive natural landscapes shaped by geological processes, such as undulating chalk downlands with dry valleys in south London, and river terraces forming long flat areas separated by steeper areas of terrace front slopes. This natural topographic geodiversity underlying London should be understood, respected and only altered in that knowledge with full knowledge of it origin and form. Planners are encouraged to use authentic contouring in restoration work and new landscaping schemes, maintain the contributions of natural topography, rock outcrops, landscape features, and to maintain soil quality, quantity and function.

Item Type: Publication - Report
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2009 > Geology and Landscape England
ISBN: 9781847812506
Funders/Sponsors: Natural England Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund, Greater London Authority, British Geological Survey, Natural England London Region
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 26 Oct 2012 08:07 +0 (UTC)

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