Conserving and interpreting Scotland’s Local Geodiversity Sites

Local Geodiversity Sites are the most important places for geology, geomorphology and soils outside statutorily protected nature reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The designation of Local Geodiversity Sites is one way of recognising and protecting important earth science and landscape features for future generations to enjoy.

This work is done by local geoconservation groups, who are members the national network, GeoConservation UK (GCUK). These groups work with local authorities to designate Local Geodiversity Sites, and work to raise awareness of sites and geodiversity through publicity such as leaflets, booklets, posters, interpretation boards and websites, and by developing access and educational usage of sites and trails. Local Geodiversity Sites were previously known as RIGS, Regionally Important Geological and Geomorphological Sites.

Local geoconservation groups in Scotland

Geodiversity: Argyll and the Islands –
Geod (Geodiversity Dumfries & Galloway) –
geoHeritage Fife –
Lothian and Borders GeoConservation –
Strathclyde Geoconservation –
Tayside Geodiversity –

Representatives and volunteers on these groups can include local professional and amateur geologist volunteers, local authority planners, countryside rangers, museum and education services, Scottish Natural Heritage (Advisory and Area staff) and the British Geological Survey (BGS).

The Lothian & Borders RIGS Group (now Lothian & Borders Geoconservation) was the first to be founded in September 1992. It has been a successful group with respect to both designation and interpretation of sites.

How does a local Geoconservation Group work? The answer is: in many different ways. Lothian & Borders, for example, has both a Committee and a Volunteer Group. The Committee meets twice a year and liaises with Local Authorities, monitors progress, designates Local Geodiversity Sites, and directs the efforts of the Volunteer Group in producing interpretation leaflets and posters, managing and clearing sites and visiting potential sites.