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What are RIGS?

Regionally Important Geodiversity Sites (RIGS).

GMRIGS are non-statutory areas of substantive geological or geomorphological importance within the county of Greater Manchester. The RIGS system is designed to establish and highlight to planners, landowners and site managers where areas of high geodiversity interest occur so that appropriate decisions on planning applications, land use and land management can be made. Once designated through notification to the local planning authority, they are conserved and protected as a material consideration through local and national planning policies.                                           

Why is Geoconservation Important?

Geology is the study of the earth. It is a study that has affected the lives of all of us.

  • It is the fundamental science of mining and quarrying which have provided us with the materials used for infrastructure, energy and technology that maintain our modern way of life.
  • Engineering geology allows the safe and economic development of infrastructure.
  • It has enabled us to calculate the age of the earth, to understand the causes of geohazards such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and to predict their occurrence.
  • Geoscience will also be crucial in meeting future challenges to ensure access to clean and sustainable water supplies, understanding geothermal energy and carbon capture and storage technologies and by understanding past climates we can model potential future outcomes and impacts on the environment and natural hazards.

Much of our geological knowledge has come from the study of exposed rock faces and the fossil remains found in the rock strata. Such sites are a vital part of our historical heritage. Sadly, many are being lost through neglect or vandalism, necessitating an active geo-conservation policy to protect them for the benefit of future generations.