Charnwood contains a rich variety of wildlife habitats which reflect its varying geology.

The borough also houses a large number of sites of ecological/geological importance.

  • 17 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) ranging in size from just under 400 ha to over one hectare and covering over four per cent of the borough. Sites of Special Scientific Interest are the best wildlife and geological sites in the country.
  • 218 Local Wildlife Sites (LWS). LWS cover just over four per cent of the borough and include over 1,000 ha and 100 km of linear habitats. Local Wildlife Sites are the best places for wildlife outside SSSI and are not statutorily protected.
  • three Local Nature Reserves (LNR) covering about 27 ha. LNR are designated by local authorities under the Natural Parks & Access to the Countryside Act 1949. The 3 LNR in the borough are all owned and managed by us. They are located in Loughborough, Mountsorrel and Shepshed.
  • five Regionally Important Geological & Geomorphological Sites (RIGS). RIGS do not have any formal statutory protection, but are taken into consideration by local planning authorities. In the Borough, the RIGS are all former quarries.

In addition, many wildlife species are legally protected under a range of legislative provisions. The section liaises closely with Natural England, the national organisation with statutory responsibilities for SSSI and protected species.

We must notify Natural England of any planning application which is likely to affect Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Furthermore Natural England must be notified separately of any proposals that may affect protected species.


Biodiversity is a core component of sustainable development and has an important role to play in developing locally distinctive and sustainable communities. The conservation and enhancement of biodiversity is vital in our response to climate change and in the delivery of key ecosystem services such as food, flood management, pollination and provision of clean air and water.

We contribute to the implementation of the Local Biodiversity Action Plan LBAP (the Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland Biodiversity Action Plan). The LBAP has identified 18 priority habitats and nine groups of species which are relevant to the borough.

The Plan sets targets for their conservation and outlines mechanisms for achieving these targets. More details can be found at Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust.

Last updated: Mon 30th July, 2018 @ 12:25