Leicestershire is a county in the East Midlands of England with an area of 833 square miles (2,160 km2), and a population according to the 2011 census of 980,000. Leicester City Council is a unitary authority, and the rest of the county is administered by Leicestershire County Council at the top level, with seven district councils in the second tier, Blaby, Charnwood, Harborough, Hinckley and Bosworth, Melton, North West Leicestershire and Oadby and Wigston.
Leicestershire is a landlocked county in the English Midlands. The county borders Nottinghamshire to the north, Lincolnshire to the north-east, Rutland to the east, Northamptonshire to the south-east, Warwickshire to the south-west, Staffordshire to the west, and Derbyshire to the north-west. The border with most of Warwickshire is Watling Street.
The East Midlands is one of nine official regions of England at the first level of NUTS for statistical purposes. It consists of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland. The region has an area of 15,627 km2 (6,034 sq mi), with a population over 4.5 million in 2011. There are six main urban centres, Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, Mansfield, Northampton and Nottingham. Others include Boston, Chesterfield, Corby, Grantham, Hinckley, Kettering, Loughborough, Newark-on-Trent, Skegness, and Wellingborough.
Leicester City Council is a unitary authority responsible for local government in the city of Leicester, England. It consists of 54 councillors, representing 22 wards in the city, overseen by a directly elected mayor. It is currently controlled by the Labour Party and has been led by Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby since his election on 6 May 2011. The main council building is City Hall on Charles Street, but council meetings are held in the 19th-century Town Hall.
In England, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) are designated by Natural England, a non-departmental public body which is responsible for protecting England's natural environment. Designation as an SSSI gives legal protection to the most important wildlife and geological sites.As of January 2018, there are seventy-six SSSIs in the county, fifty-seven of which are designated for their biology, twelve for their geology and seven for both criteria.
Natural England is a non-departmental public body in the United Kingdom sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. It is responsible for ensuring that England's natural environment, including its land, flora and fauna, freshwater and marine environments, geology and soils, are protected and improved. It also has a responsibility to help people enjoy, understand and access the natural environment.
In the United Kingdom, non-departmental public body (NDPB) is a classification applied by the Cabinet Office, Treasury, the Scottish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive to quangos. NDPBs are not an integral part of any government department and carry out their work at arm's length from ministers, although ministers are ultimately responsible to Parliament for the activities of bodies sponsored by their department.
There are nineteen Geological Conservation Review sites, six Nature Conservation Review sites, one Special Area of Conservation, three National Nature Reserves, two are Common Land, and three contain Scheduled Monuments. One site is a Local Nature Reserve, thirteen are managed by the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, and one by the National Trust. The largest site is Bradgate Park and Cropston Reservoir at 399.3 hectares (987 acres). It has rocks dating to the Ediacaran period around 600 million years ago, and is very important for the study of Precambrian palaeontology. The smallest is Gipsy Lane Pit at 0.5 hectares (1.2 acres), which is important to mineralogists as it is rich in sulphides, some of which are unidentified.
The Geological Conservation Review (GCR) is produced by the UK's Joint Nature Conservation Committee and is designed to identify those sites of national and international importance needed to show all the key scientific elements of the geological and geomorphological features of Britain. These sites display sediments, rocks, minerals, fossils, and features of the landscape that make a special contribution to an understanding and appreciation of Earth science and the geological history of Britain, which stretches back more than three billion years. The intention of the project, which was devised in 1974 by George Black and William Wimbledon working for the Governmental advisory agency, the Nature Conservancy Council (NCC), was activated in 1977. It aimed to provide the scientific rationale and information base for the conservation of geological SSSIs (Sites of Special Scientific Interest, protected under British law. The NCC and country conservation agencies were established in 1990 when JNCC became established and took over responsibility for managing the GCR site assessment process, and publishing accounts of accepted sites.
A Special Area of Conservation (SAC) is defined in the European Union's Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC), also known as the Directive on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora. They are to protect the 220 habitats and approximately 1000 species listed in annex I and II of the directive which are considered to be of European interest following criteria given in the directive. They must be chosen from the Sites of Community Importance by the State Members and designated SAC by an act assuring the conservation measures of the natural habitat.
The Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust (LRWT) is one of 47 wildlife trusts across the United Kingdom. It manages nature reserves in Leicestershire and Rutland, and was founded in 1956 as the Leicestershire and Rutland Trust for Nature Conservation. As of January 2018, it has over 16,000 members, a staff of about 25 and more than 500 volunteers. It is based in Leicester, and is managed by a Council of Trustees which is elected by the members. It is a charity which covers all aspects of nature conservation, and works to protect wild places and wildlife.
Common land is land owned collectively by a number of persons, or by one person, but over which other people have certain traditional rights, such as to allow their livestock to graze upon it, to collect wood, or to cut turf for fuel.
|Allexton Wood||25.8 hectares|
|NO|| Uppingham ||Map||Citation||This coppice semi-natural wood is on soils derived from glacial and Jurassic clays. The dominant tree is ash, and elm and pedunculate oak are also common. There are several small streams with populations of opposite-leaved golden saxifrage.|
|Ashby Canal||15.4 hectares|
|YES|| Leicester ||Map||Citation||The site has diverse aquatic flora and invertebrates, and the submerged plants are of particular interest. These include mare's tail, spiked water-milfoil and perfoliate pondweed. Nine species of dragonfly have been recorded, and there are also water shrews and the nationally rare water beetle haliplus mucronatus .|
|Bardon Hill||13 hectares|
|YES|| Coalville ||Map||Citation||The hill is a surviving fragment of the formerly extensive Charnwood Forest, and it has both woodland and heath. Mature oak dominates the lower slopes, with pine plantation higher up, and a mixture of heath, acid grassland, rock outcrops and scrub oak at the top. The hill is notable for its lichens and invertebrates, especially spiders with 133 species including the rare Tetrilus macrophthalmus .|
|Bardon Hill Quarry||58.1 hectares|
|NO|| Coalville ||GCR||Map||Citation||This quarry has been operated for over 400 years and produces three million tonnes of crushed rock a year, about 15% of the total production in the United Kingdom. It exposes rocks from an andesitic Precambrian volcano, similar to the 1995 Montserrat eruption, about 570 million years ago. There are veins of quartz containing copper and gold.|
|Barrow Gravel Pits||35.7 hectares|
|YES|| Loughborough ||Map||Citation||This site in the flood plain of the River Soar has open water in the former gravel pits, marshes, hay meadows, woodland and scrub. Aquatic plants include yellow water lily, rigid hornwort, lesser pondweed and fan-leaved water crowfoot.|
|Beacon Hill, Hangingstone and Outwoods||147.4 hectares|
|PP|| Loughborough ||GCR, NCR||Map||Citation||Beacon Hill has diverse breeding birds, such as green woodpeckers, tawny owls and tree pipits, and it is one of only three sites in the county with breeding palmate newts. The Outwoods and Hangingstone are of international importance for their fossils of early Precambrian life forms.|
|Benscliffe Wood||9.8 hectares|
|NO|| Leicester ||Map||Citation||This wood has one of the richest varieties of lichens in the East Midlands, with over thirty species growing on Precambrian rocks. Eleven of the species are rare in the county.|
|Blackbrook Reservoir||39.3 hectares|
|FP|| Shepshed ||Map||Citation||The reservoir has a plant community on its margins which is unique in the Midlands and only found in a few northern sites. Its unusual mix of flora includes Juncus filiformis at its most southern locations, and the lake itself has native white-clawed crayfish, where it is isolated from the invasive American signal crayfish.|
|Botcheston Bog||2.8 hectares|
|NO|| Leicester ||Map||Citation||This grazed marsh on peaty soil is dominated by carnation sedge, hard rush, creeping bent and meadowsweet. Other plants include several which are rare in the county.|
|Bradgate Park and Cropston Reservoir||399.3 hectares|
|YES|| Leicester ||GCR, SM||Map||Citation||Bradgate Park has one of the best examples of ancient parkland in the county, and Cropston Reservoir has unusual plants on its shores. The park has Charnian rocks dating to the Ediacaran period around 600 million years ago, and it has provided the type section for four different members of the stratigraphic sequence. It is described by Natural England as "a site of great importance to the study of Precambrian palaeontology".|
|Breedon Cloud Wood and Quarry||63.2 hectares|
|PP|| Loughborough ||GCR, LRWT||Map||Citation||Cloud Wood is an ancient semi-natural wood on clay. It has a very diverse ground flora, including pendulous sedge, yellow archangel and giant bellflower. The quarry is a nationally important geological locality, exposing a Lower Carboniferous succession deposited in shallow seas.|
|Breedon Hill||5.2 hectares|
|YES|| Loughborough ||Map||Citation||This is the largest area of species rich carboniferous limestone in the county. Herbs include bulbous buttercup, harebell, burnet saxifrage, musk thistle and hairy violet.|
|Briery Wood Heronry, Belvoir||5.7 hectares|
|NO|| Grantham ||Map||Citation||This is the largest heronry in the county, with up to thirty breeding pairs. The dominant trees are mature oaks and ash, with a ground flora of bracken and dog's mercury.|
|Buddon Wood and Swithland Reservoir||187.1 hectares|
|NO|| Leicester ||GCR||Map||Citation||The reservoir provides a refuge for waterfowl during the winter, and Buddon Wood has over 200 species of vascular plants, a third of British spider species including one which is nationally rare, 20 butterflies and 200 moths. Buddon Hill quarry is geologically important, and it is disputed whether an area of andesite dates to the Cambrian or the earlier Ediacaran.|
|Burbage Wood and Aston Firs||51.1 hectares|
|PP|| Hinckley ||LNR||Map||Citation||These semi-natural woods on poorly drained soils are dominated by ash and oak. Hazel and hawthorn are common in the shrub layer, and there are flowers such as sweet woodruff and water avens.|
|Cave's Inn Pits||5.8 hectares|
|NO|| Lutterworth ||Map||Citation||These disused gravel workings have some of the best neutral marsh in the county, with varied habitats also including scrub, species-rich grassland and shallow pools. There are diverse species of breeding birds.|
|Charnwood Lodge||134.2 hectares|
|PP|| Coalville ||GCR, LRWT, NNR||Map||Citation||This is the largest area of moorland in the East Midlands, and it is mainly covered by bracken on dry hills, while wet heath is dominated by purple moor-grass. The site is geologically important for the 'bomb' rocks, volcanic blocks dating the Ediacaran period around 600 million years ago.|
|Chater Valley||3.8 hectares|
|NO|| Uppingham ||Map||Citation||This steeply sloping stretch of the valley of the River Chater is a semi-natural mosaic of grassland and spring-fed marsh. There are diverse breeding birds, invertebrates and herbs, including tormentil, betony and one of the few populations in the county of moonwort.|
|Cliffe Hill Quarry||19.2 hectares|
|NO|| Coalville ||GCR||Map||Citation||This quarry on the western outskirts of Markfield exposes volcanic and sedimentary Charnian rocks dating to the Precambrian eon. It was probably then a volcanic island. The rare mineral diorite is sometimes called markfieldite because it is found in the village.|
|Coalville Meadows||6 hectares|
|YES|| Coalville ||Map||Citation||These meadows on poorly drained clay soils are dominated by great burnet, red fescue, Yorkshire fog and tufted hair-grass. Herbs include pignut and heath bedstraw.|
|Cotes Grassland||3.2 hectares|
|YES|| Loughborough ||Map||Citation||This meadow on the bank of the River Soar has a thin soil on alluvial river gravels. It has several plants which are uncommon in the Midlands, such as soft trefoil, spotted medick, knotted hedge-parsley, wild clary and subterranean trefoil.|
|Cribb's Lodge Meadows||4.1 hectares|
|YES|| Melton Mowbray ||LRWT, NCR, NNR||Map||Citation||The embankment of a disused railway runs through this ridge and furrow neutral meadow on boulder clay. The diverse flora includes adder's tongue fern, pepper saxifrage, hayrattle and green-winged orchid.|
|Croft and Huncote Quarry||35.2 hectares|
|NO|| Hinckley ||GCR||Map||Citation||This site exposes igneous tonalite rocks 452 million years old, in the Ordovician period, and it helps to document the growth of continental crust beneath central England. This layer is unconformably overlain by Triassic mineralised manganese.|
|Croft Hill||2.0 hectares|
|YES|| Hinckley ||Map||Citation||This site has short, tussocky grass in an open habitat, a nationally rare vegetation type. The granitic soil is thin and short of nutrients. The nationally scarce upright chickweed is abundant in some areas.|
|Croft Pasture||6.1 hectares|
|YES|| Hinckley ||LRWT||Map||Citation||The River Soar runs through this unimproved grazed meadow, which is dominated by common bent and crested dog's-tail. A knoll in the north of the site has uncommon flora such as meadow saxifrage, common stork's-bill and subterranean clover.|
|Croxton Park||97.3 hectares|
|PP|| Melton Mowbray ||Map||Citation||This medieval park has unimproved rough grassland with a scatter of ancient oaks and hawthorns. The breeding birds are diverse, and more than ninety lichen species have been recorded, including many which are uncommon.|
|Debdale Meadow, Muston||4.3 hectares|
|NO|| Grantham ||Map||Citation||This traditionally managed meadow has diverse flora typical of the clay soils of the Midlands, and it has evidence of medieval ridge and furrow cultivation. Flora include cowslip, bulbous buttercup and pepper-saxifrage.|
|PP|| Coalville ||GCR, LRWT||Map||Citation||Dimminsdale has semi-natural woodland and one of the largest areas of unimproved acidic grassland in the county. Earl Ferrers' lead mine, which is located on the site, has a unique and complex mixture of minerals such as galena and zinc blende; their genesis is little understood and they provide great potential for research.|
|Donington Park||38.9 hectares|
|NO|| Loughborough ||Map||Citation||The park was mentioned in the Domesday Book, and it has been managed as a deer park for all of its recorded history. Most of it has a short grass sward, with areas of bracken and ancient oaks, which provide a habitat for rare beetles and spiders.|
|Enderby Warren Quarry||1.6 hectares|
|NO|| Leicester ||GCR||Map||Citation|
This former quarry is described by Natural England as nationally important as it is the only one in Britain where it can be shown that palygorskite clay soil has been formed by the action of groundwater on Triassic and pre-Triassic sediments.
|Eye Brook Reservoir||201.3 hectares|
|NO|| Uppingham ||Map||Citation||The reservoir is an important site for wintering wildfowl, such as wigeon, teal, mallard and pochard. Other habitats are marsh, mudflats, grassland, broad-leaved woodland and plantations.|
|Eye Brook Valley Woods||65.7 hectares|
|PP|| Uppingham ||LRWT||Map||Citation||These are surviving fragments of the medieval Leighfield Forest. Park Wood is mainly ash and wych elm, while Bolt Wood and Great Merrible Wood are dominated by ash and field maple. The shrub flora is diverse, and there are also several small pools and marshes.|
|Frisby Marsh||10.1 hectares|
|YES|| Loughborough ||Map||Citation|
This site has spring-fed marshes, grassland, woodland and a pool and channel which are the surviving parts of a former ox-bow lake of the adjacent River Wreake. The marshes have a rich flora, with plants such as marsh valerian and marsh arrowgrass.
|Gipsy Lane Pit||0.5 hectares|
|NO|| Leicester ||GCR||Map||Citation||This site is important to geologists for its Triassic stratigraphy, and to mineralogists as it is rich in sulphides, some of which are unidentified and imperfectly understood compounds. Natural England describes the site's interest as "unique in Britain, and possibly internationally".|
|Grace Dieu and High Sharpley||86 hectares|
|PP|| Coalville ||GCR||Map||Citation||This site is composed of several fragments of the formerly extensive Charnwood Forest, and it has diverse habitats of heath, woodland, rock, scrub and acid grassland. Grace Dieu Quarry exhibits a thin marine Lower Carboniferous layer of Carboniferous Limestone, close to the Midland shoreline around 340 million years ago.|
|Grantham Canal||9.4 hectares|
|YES|| Grantham ||Map||Citation||This site has diverse aquatic and terrestrial habitats, which supports a varied insect community. The canal has floating plants such as fat duckweed and water fern, and there are breeding birds such as sedge warblers, moorhens and reed warblers.|
|Great Bowden Borrowpit||2.4 hectares|
|NO|| Market Harborough ||Map||Citation||This former railway borrow pit has an unusual marsh, dominated by soft rush, tufted hair grass and cottongrass. Other plants include bulrush and bog moss. Snipe feed on the site.|
|Groby Pool and Woods||29 hectares|
|YES|| Leicester ||Map||Citation||Groby Pool is the largest natural lake in the county, and it is used by many wintering wildfowl. The marginal vegetation is diverse, and there is also wet woodland and meadows which have grasses such as common bent, sweet vernal grass and crested dog's-tail.|
|Harby Hill Wood||17.2 hectares|
|FP|| Melton Mowbray ||Map||Citation||This site has steeply sloping ash and sycamore woodland, with areas of spring-fed marsh and colonies of wild daffodils. There is also an area of species-rich dry grassland, which has flora such as pignut and musk thistle.|
|Holly Rock Fields||3.9 hectares|
|NO|| Coalville ||Map||Citation||This is a nationally important site as most of it is the nationally scarce National Vegetation Classification type MG5, crested dog’s-tail and common knapweed grassland. The fields have not been subject to agricultural intensification, and they are floristically diverse.|
|Holwell Mouth||15.7 hectares|
|YES|| Melton Mowbray ||CL||Map||Citation||This marsh on Jurassic clay is in the valley of the River Smite, which runs through the site. There are also areas of grassland, bracken and woodland, and the diverse habitats support a range of birds and insects.|
|Ives Head||4.0 hectares|
|NO|| Coalville ||GCR||Map||Citation||This site exposes volcaniclastic sandstones dating to the late Precambrian, around 600 million years ago. It is important for the global understanding of the early evolution of Ediacaran environments.|
|Kendall's Meadow||2.6 hectares|
|NO|| Hinckley ||Map||Citation||Over a dozen grass species grow on this traditionally managed hay meadow, such as common bent, red fescue, crested dog's tail and yellow oat grass. There are also many herbs including cat's ear and yellow rattle.|
|Kilby - Foxton Canal||32 hectares|
|YES|| Leicester ||Map||Citation||Nine species of pondweed have been recorded on the canal, two of which are nationally rare, and submerged plants include Nuttall's waterweed and yellow water-lily. Fleckney Tunnel has a long established colony of Daubenton's bats.|
|King Lud's Entrenchments and The Drift||23.9 hectares|
|YES|| Melton Mowbray ||SM||Map||Citation||This site has limestone grassland with tor-grass, cock's foot, crested dog's-tail and red fescue. Herbs include salad burnet, field scabious, germander speedwell and perforate St John's-wort, and there is also some broad-leaved semi-natural woodland.|
|Launde Big Wood||41.1 hectares|
|YES|| Leicester ||LRWT||Map||Citation||This wood on heavy clay is dominated by ash, and in some areas by wych elm. The ground layer has flora typical of ancient clay woods, such as bluebell, forget-me-not, yellow archangel and giant bellflower.|
|Leighfield Forest||149.7 hectares|
|PP|| Leicester ||NCR||Map||Citation||These woods in the Eye Brook valley date back at least to the thirteenth century. The dominant trees are ash and oak. The diverse moths and beetles include some rare species, and others are at the northern limit of their distribution. There are also areas of grassland and marsh.|
|Lockington Marshes||11.3 hectares|
|NO|| Loughborough ||Map||Citation||This site in the floodplains of the River Soar and River Trent has a periodically flooded meadow, pools and one of the largest areas of willow carr in the county. The invertebrate fauna includes nationally rare beetles and flies, and scarce species such as the water beetle batenus livens and the weevil anthribus fasciatus .|
|Loughborough Meadows||60.5 hectares|
|YES|| Loughborough ||LRWT||Map||Citation||This is the largest area of unimproved alluvial flood meadow in the county, and wet areas are dominated by creeping bent and marsh foxtail. A brook has large areas of marsh foxtail, and there is a field with breeding lapwings and redshanks.|
|Lount Meadows||8.5 hectares|
|NO|| Coalville ||Map||Citation||This slightly acidic grassland site has hay meadows with diverse grass species. There are also areas of species-rich rough pasture, scrub and marsh, which is dominated by plicate sweet-grass and water horsetail.|
|Main Quarry, Mountsorrel||14.6 hectares|
|NO|| Leicester ||GCR||Map||Citation||According to Natural England, this site "is probably the most dramatic and well-developed occurrence of asphaltite in Britain upon which international research into the origin of life on Earth has been carried out."|
|Misterton Marshes||6.8 hectares|
|NO|| Lutterworth ||Map||Citation||This is one of the largest areas of unimproved wetland in the county. Its large areas of tall fen are dominated by common reed, reed canary grass and lesser pond-sedge. There is also an area of grazed marsh and a stream.|
|Muston Meadows||8.7 hectares|
|YES|| Grantham ||NCR, NNR||Map||Citation||These ridge and furrow meadows are on soils derived from clay. Herbs include green-winged orchid, lady's bedstraw, yellow rattle, pepper saxifrage and cowslip.|
|Narborough Bog||8.5 hectares|
|YES|| Leicester ||LRWT||Map||Citation||This site has a large area of common reed on peat, and there is also wet woodland, dominated by crack willow. Both areas have diverse species of butterflies and moths, including several which are locally uncommon. In the south of the site there are two wet grazed meadows and more woodland.|
|Newhurst Quarry||9.4 hectares|
|NO|| Shepshed ||GCR||Map||Citation||This is the only British site where hypogene mineralisatin, deep in the earth, has been weathered during the Triassic, around 225 million years ago. It is also the only British site to have the minerals coulsonite and vesignieite.|
|Newton Burgoland Marshes||8.6 hectares|
|NO|| Coalville ||Map||Citation||This site is in two areas, with the northern one having wet grassland and species rich marsh, while the southern one is well-drained grassland. Herbs in the marsh include ragged robin, marsh marigold, meadow thistle and southern marsh orchid.|
|Oakley Wood||48.1 hectares|
|NO|| Loughborough ||Map||Citation||This site provides the only example in the county of the transition from oak woodland on free draining acid soil to the ash and hazel typical of the heavy clays of eastern central England. Rides add to the variety of flora, with woodland species such as lily of the valley and yellow archangel.|
|One Barrow Plantation||1.8 hectares|
|NO|| Shepshed ||GCR||Map||Citation||This site exposes rocks dating to the late Precambrian, around 600 million years ago. The deposits are mainly volcanic ash, thought to have been deposited in the sea from volcanoes on neighbouring islands similar to those now found on the western edge of the Pacific Ocean.|
|Owston Woods||139.5 hectares|
|YES|| Oakham ||Map||Citation||The dominant trees in these woods on Jurassic and glacial clay are ash and hazel. There are diverse moths, beetles and other insects, including some rare species, and there is also a variety of birds and small mammals.|
|Pasture and Asplin Woods||40.9 hectares|
|NO|| Shepshed ||Map||Citation||These ancient woods on poorly drained clay soils are dominated by ash, with a shrub layer of hazel and hawthorn. There are herbs characteristic of ancient woodland, such as wood anemone and sweet woodruff.|
|River Eye||6 hectares|
|PP|| Melton Mowbray ||NCR||Map||Citation||This unpolluted clay stream has rich and diverse flora and fauna. Marginal vegetation includes bulrush, branched bur-reed and greater pond sedge, while shallow, fast-flowing stretches have curled pondweed and perfoliate pondweed.|
|River Mease||22.8 hectares|
|PP|| Coalville ||SAC||Map||Citation||The river has nationally significant populations of two species of freshwater fish, spined loach and bullhead. Vegetation is sparse in the upper reaches as the stream is fast-flowing, but there are stands of floating sweet-grass, and aquatic flora is more varied lower down, where the river flows slowly across a flood plain.|
|Roecliffe Manor Lawns||1.2 hectares|
|NO|| Leicester ||Map||Citation||This grassland site on Precambrian rocks has a wide variety of fungi, including several species listed in the provisional Red Data Book of threatened species for fungi. There are many mushrooms of the genus Entoloma .|
|Saddington Reservoir||19 hectares|
|YES|| Market Harborough ||Map||Citation||The reservoir has a range of wetland habitats, such as open water, wet willow woodland and swamp. There are a number of nationally scarce beetles, such as Carabus monilis , Atheta basicornis , Eledona agricola and Gyrophaena lucidula .|
|Sheepy Fields||4.9 hectares|
|NO|| Market Bosworth ||Map||Citation||The two hay meadows in this site are on post-glacial river terrace deposits. There are diverse herbs such as lady's mantle, adder's tongue, hayrattle, pepper saxifrage, bulbous buttercup and cowslip.|
|Sheet Hedges Wood||21.7 hectares|
|YES|| Leicester ||Map||Citation||This is typical of ancient woods on clay soils in central and eastern England, and ash is dominant in the canopy, while the shrub layer has hazel, field maple, hawthorn, elder and privet.|
|Shepshed Cutting||5.8 hectares|
|YES|| Shepshed ||Map||Citation||The Triassic deposits in Shepshed Cutting are unique, with a flat sheet of galena resting on red clay, and the whole enclosed in sandstone. The site is described by Natural England as "of international importance for developing a better understanding of the origins of mineral deposits and the processes which form them".|
|Sproxton Quarry||5.4 hectares|
|YES|| Melton Mowbray ||GCR||Map||Citation||The quarry exposes one of the most complete sections of the Middle Jurassic Lincolnshire Limestone Formation, together with the underlying Grantham and Northampton Sand Formations. It has rare ammonites. Sproxton Quarry is a Reference Section for the Grantham Formation.|
|Stanford Park||20.4 hectares|
|YES|| Lutterworth ||Map||Citation||The park has avenues of oak trees, together with other large trees in an area of pasature. It has the most diverse lichens in the county on the bark of mature trees and on old stonework, including fifteen species not recorded elsewhere in Leicestershire.|
|Stonesby Quarry||3.2 hectares|
|YES|| Melton Mowbray ||LRWT||Map||Citation||This site on Jurassic Lincolnshire Limestone has grassland with diverse herb species, such as autumn gentian, cowslip, dwarf thistle, small scabious, pyramidal orchid and clustered bellflower.|
|Swithland Wood and The Brand||87.9 hectares|
|YES|| Leicester ||GCR, NCR||Map||Citation||Swithland Wood is typical of the acid and loamy soils of the Midlands, and its dominant trees are sessile oak, silver birch and small-leaved lime. The Brand is a former slate quarry which has many lichens, including species rare in the region.|
|Terrace Hills Pasture||11.2 hectares|
|PP|| Grantham ||Map||Citation||This site has been designated an SSSI as an example of old calcareous pasture, but some areas are former quarries, and as a result there is an undulating terrain. The dominant grasses are crested dog's-tail, sweet vernal grass and red fescue, and there is also a small stream with an area of marsh.|
|Tilton Cutting||4.4 hectares|
|YES|| Leicester ||GCR, LRWT||Map||Citation||This is the best site in the East Midlands which exposes the sequence of rocks in the Lower Jurassic around 180 million years ago. There are many fossils, including Tiltoniceras acutum , an age-diagnostic ammonite. The site has rich flora and diverse common birds.|
|Twenty Acre Piece||8 hectares|
|YES|| Loughborough ||CL||Map||Citation||This site has grassland, scrub and wood on poorly drained acidic clay. The woodland is mainly hawthorn, oak and ash, and there are diverse populations of breeding invertebrates and birds.|
|Ulverscroft Valley||110.7 hectares|
|PP|| Leicester ||LRWT, NT, SM||Map||Citation||This is described by Natural England as one of the best wildlife sites in the county, with grassland, heath, woodland and wetlands. Over 200 plant species have been recorded, with an especially rich flora in wet areas and diverse species of moths.|
|Wymondham Rough||5.9 hectares|
|YES|| Melton Mowbray ||LRWT||Map||Citation||This clay grassland has a rich flora, dominated by common bent, Yorkshire fog, false oat-grass and cock's foot. A poorly drained area has plants such as water avens, and there are drier soils in the west of the site.|
Charnwood Lodge is a 134.2 hectare biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Charnwood Forest, east of Coalville in Leicestershire. It is a National Nature Reserve, and contains two Geological Conservation Review sites. It is managed by the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust.
Dimminsdale is a 37 hectare geological biological and Site of Special Scientific Interest partly in Derbyshire and partly in Leicestershire. It is located east of Calke in Derbyshire. It is a Geological Conservation Review site, and a area of 23.5 hectares is owned by Severn Trent Water and managed by the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust.
Ketton Quarries is a 115.6 hectare biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest east of Ketton in Rutland. It is a Geological Conservation Review site, and an area of 27.5 hectares is managed by the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust.
Croft and Huncote Quarry is a 35.3 hectare geological Site of Special Scientific Interest north of Croft in Leicestershire. It is a Geological Conservation Review site.
Newhurst Quarry is a 9.5 hectares geological Site of Special Scientific Interest on the southern outskirts of Shepshed in Leicestershire. It is a Geological Conservation Review site.
Stonesby Quarry is a 3.2 hectares biological Site of Special Scientific Interest between Stonesby and Waltham on the Wolds in Leicestershire. It is part of a 4 hectare nature reserve managed by the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust.
Breedon Cloud Wood and Quarry is a 63.3 hectares biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest north-east of Worthington in Leicestershire. It is a Geological Conservation Review site. An area of 33 hectares is managed as a nature reserve by the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust.
Tilton Cutting is a 4.4 hectares geological Site of Special Scientific Interest west of Tilton on the Hill in Leicestershire. It is a Geological Conservation Review site, and is owned and managed by the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust as Tilton Railway Cutting.