Gipsy Lane Brick Quarry

    Getting There

    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.


    Managed By
    Leicester City Council
    Wild places

    Total species seen at this site: 206


    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.

    Wildlife Highlights

    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.

    Further Information

    The site is under the responsibility of Natural England. Further information on the SSSI status of this site can be found here.

    Group Common name Latin name Last seen
    Bees, Wasps, AntsKnopper Oak Gall WaspAndricus quercuscalicis07/09/2019
    Bees, Wasps, AntsFormica lemani07/09/2019
    Bees, Wasps, AntsSmooth Spangle GallNeuroterus albipes07/09/2019
    BirdsRavenCorvus corax07/09/2019
    BirdsGreen WoodpeckerPicus viridis07/09/2019
    BirdsDunnockPrunella modularis07/09/2019
    BugsDock BugCoreus marginatus07/09/2019
    ButterfliesGreen-veined WhitePieris napi07/09/2019
    Dragonflies and DamselfliesCommon DarterSympetrum striolatum07/09/2019
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesCommon BentAgrostis capillaris07/09/2019
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesCreeping BentAgrostis stolonifera07/09/2019
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesFalse-bromeBrachypodium sylvaticum07/09/2019
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesWood Small-reedCalamagrostis epigejos07/09/2019
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesGlaucous SedgeCarex flacca07/09/2019
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesPendulous SedgeCarex pendula07/09/2019
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesCock's-footDactylis glomerata07/09/2019
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesCommon Spike-rushEleocharis palustris07/09/2019
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesRed FescueFestuca rubra07/09/2019
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesYorkshire-fogHolcus lanatus07/09/2019
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesJointed RushJuncus articulatus07/09/2019
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesSoft-rushJuncus effusus07/09/2019
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesTimothyPhleum pratense07/09/2019
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesTall FescueSchedonorus arundinaceus07/09/2019
    Grasshoppers & CricketsLong Winged Cone-headConocephalus fuscus07/09/2019
    Grasshoppers & CricketsSlender GroundhopperTetrix subulata07/09/2019
    LichensSarcogyne regularis07/09/2019
    MammalsRabbitOryctolagus cuniculus07/09/2019
    Mites, Ticks & PseudoscorpionsAceria campestricola07/09/2019
    Trees, Shrubs & ClimbersDogwoodCornus sanguinea07/09/2019
    Trees, Shrubs & ClimbersMalus domestica07/09/2019