6. Sites of Special Scientific Interest

High Dyke


Parish: Cranwell

The wide verges of Ermine Street, along with some further roadside verge to the south, comprise a substantial area of Eastern Jurassic Limestone grassland in south Lincolnshire. This site is the locality of two nationally important rare plant species, at the edge of their British geographical range.

Doddington Clay Woods

Parish: Doddington

Old Hag and Little Sale Woods are two ancient semi-natural woodlands which have developed on the heavy clay soils derived from scattered outcrops of Lias Clay which occur amongst glacial gravels in this area of Lincolnshire. The woods contain representative examples of several woodland types now scarce in lowland Britain, such as, wet ash-wych elm woodland, acid birch-ash-lime woodland, and lowland maple-ash-lime woodland. Both woodlands also have a rich and varied ground flora, reflecting variations in soil moisture and base status. Old Hag Wood is the site of a large heronry and also supports a varied community of other breeding birds.

Metheringham Heath Quarry

Parish: Metheringham

 The interest in this site is based on the geological formation which shows an excellent and virtually complete exposure through the Lincolnshire Limestone formation laid down in the middle Jurassic, about 170 million years ago. The basal part of the formation is particularly well developed providing essential information relating to the plaeoenvironmental interpretation of the basal beds of the Upper Lincolnshire Limestone. It is therefore a key sedimentological and stratiographic site.

Potterhanworth Wood

Parish: Potterhanworth

 The site is known to have been continuously wooded and its long management as coppice with standards, combined with variations in soil texture and drainage has resulted in outstanding plant and animal communities. The wood also supports a breeding bird community characteristic of ancient woodlands and contains a small heronry.

Copper Hill

Parish: Wilsford

 This site includes nationally important exposures of Lincolnshire limestone. The site is of particular geological importance as it provides evidence of the environmental conditions at the time when the limestone was laid down, 170 million years ago. The biological interest lies in the rich and varied limestone flora and its associated range of butterfly species.

Wilsford Heath Quarry

Parish: Wilsford

The site is a disused limestone quarry with semi-natural deciduous woodland dominated by oak, ash, beech and sycamore. Another important habitat is the species-rich limestone grassland which supports a flora now uncommon in the East Midlands.

Wilsford and Rauceby Warrens


Parish: Wilsford/ South Rauceby

This site comprises the most extensive remaining area of limestone grass heath in south Lincolnshire. Variation in the thickness of glacial deposits gives rise to a mix of dry lime-rich soils and lime-poor soils with a correspondingly high botanical diversity. A large population of nationally rare plants occur in this area. Great crested newts breed in one of the old water-filled sand and gravel workings.

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