Gipsy Lane Brick Quarry
Selected Wild Place / Other Wild Places / Public Rights of Way / VC55 boundary
The site is managed by Leicester City Council and there is no open access onto the site. Arrangements to visit the site can be made via the council’s Nature Conservation team or see local press for details of formal Open Days when the site will be open to specialists and the public with restricted access twice per year.
The site is under the responsibility of Natural England. Further information on the SSSI status of this site can be found here.
Total species seen at this site: 205
The former brick quarry was designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 1981. It is one of the smallest SSSIs in Leicestershire and is designated for its geological importance (Gypsum quarry made up of mudstones and dolomitic limestone with rich sulphide minerals).
It has undergone major landscaping and changes resulting from a new road scheme that was constructed to the west and north of the site. In 2016 the site had to undergo further levelling to help protect the exposed face of the Gypsum quarry which was subject to erosion from water being directed onto the face.
The SSSI is protected from nearby development by a green boundary formed by a SuDs feature to provide storage for water. The site is also a Local Wildlife Site due to its botanical diversity and mosaic of habitats.
The geology of this site provides a composition of mineral soils that are unique to Leicester and are rarely found in Leicestershire. As such specialists have visited the site and found rare invertebrates largely confined to this habitat. A survey in 2018 revealed that this is the best site in Leicester for molluscs, thanks to its calcareous geology. More widely, the site supports Bee orchids, Common Centaury and other calcareous species. The sites topography and low nutrients mean that grassland is generally sparse and allows for an open sward and greater diversity. Within the former quarry rabbits are quite active and help to control the sward. The site also supports gorse and broom which provide local nesting habitat.
Small areas of marsh are present in the SuDs basin which supports ephemeral vegetation whilst recent works have created a number of permanent and semi-permanent ponds which support smooth newts.
The records and images below may include those from adjacent sites if the grid reference submitted with these records overlaps the boundary of this Wild Place.