How are sites protected?
LGS do not have the same protection in law as Sites of Special Scientific Interest but are treated as Local Sites as defined by DEFRA. These may be any site designated as having ‘local’ wildlife or geodiversity significance. All LGS in Lancashire however, meet the more stringent requirement of ‘regional’ importance and have been adopted by Lancashire County and all district Councils as Geological Heritage Sites with the same level of protection under planning policies as Biological Heritage Sites.
Many sites are located on private land and the permission of the landowner must be acquired before venturing on to them. However, a significant number of sites is also on public land or where access agreements exist. In addition, most sites are close to or are crossed by public rights of way.
Detailed survey records of all LGS are maintained by GeoLancashire on a database. All such records are covered by the provisions of the EU Inspire Special Data Directive (http://inspire.ec.europa.eu/) so their accuracy and accessibility to the public must be maintained. Applications for site records for planning purposes should be made to Lancashire Environmental Records Network (LeRN), of which GeoLancashire is a partner (http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/lern/contact.aspx). This service will normally attract an administrative fee.