site of special scientific interest


I’ve been posting clips from this project for a while. It’s a dino and sea beast filled, geological, historical animation for Treak Cliff Cavern! We condensed over 300 million years into 4:16 minutes of video!Treak Cliff Cavern is a site of special scientific interest in the Peak District National Park in England. It is the only area in the world where the mineral, Blue John, can be found. In 2017 Treak Cliff Cavern began work to develop educational materials for the visitors of the site. As part of the project I created an animation and comic book to explain the history of the site to visitors.The video is designed to work silently at the visitor centre if needed so there’s no voiceover. The excellent audio track is by Haynes Music Productions!


Bombay Sapphire Distillery

Transforming a 300 year old paper Mill with over 1000 years of history within a Conservation Area and Site of Special Scientific Interest took patience, dedication. Working with Heatherwick Studio, Bombay Sapphire sympathetically renovated Laverstoke Mill into a state-of-the-art sustainable distillery that showcases the natural beauty and industrial heritage of the site. 

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Rannoch Moor (Scottish Gaelic: Mòinteach Raineach/Raithneach) is a large expanse of around 50 square miles (130 km²) of boggy moorland to the west of Loch Rannoch in Scotland, where it extends into Perth and Kinross, Lochaber in Highland, and northern Argyll and Bute. Rannoch Moor is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation.

“Would you like a cup of tea?” asked Zoe.
“I’ll tell you what,” I said. “You make the tea and I’ll wash up.”
I’d got there just in time - another twenty-four hours and the Environment Agency would have declared the sink a Site of Special Scientific Interest and refused us access. I did briefly consider taking a broom to the spider webs in the corners, but you don’t get the full Studio Ghibli from me without a sizable cash advance.

Peter Grant (Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch)

The pop culture references in these books are too good.


St Nectans Glen is a an area of outstanding natural beauty. Walk to the Waterfall & Hermitage through an ancient woodland with ivy clad trees and along the banks of the River Trevillet as it sparkles and gurgles busily on it’s journey to the sea.

St Nectans Glen is a place where animals and birds play amid a mysticism of fairies, piskies* and spirits, serenaded by the wonderful sound of bird song. The area has been appointed a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to rare specimens of plants. Once at the hermitage enjoy a well deserved cream tea or coffee, visit our shop & gallery for gifts to take home and visit the meditation room for a time of self reflection.

Finally wonder down to the Waterfall and experience one of Cornwall’s hidden treasures, one of natures beauties unspoilt by man. Whether your on a pilgrimage or a day out the reward is in natures embrace. * pixies for the non fae folk

Saint Nectan’s Kieve is to some a sacred place, and numerous ribbons, crystals, photographs, inscriptions, prayers and other devotions now adorn the foliage and rock walls near the waterfall. Some visitors add small piles of flat stones obtained from the stream, known by some as fairy stacks.


The first in a series of short films documenting individual locations through using both a camera and factual knowledge. The aim is to enlighten the viewer to the beauty of each area whilst educating.

In this installment, I spend 3 shoots at Godrevy, on the north coast of Cornwall, UK. Ideally I would have spent more time filming, but this was just a test to see if this whole concept works. The film delves into the wildlife and landscape of the beautiful area at different times of the day.

This famous Trilobite Tuesday adorns a town crest! 

The fossil-rich Silurian exposures of the English midlands have been yielding amazing trilobite specimens for centuries, with those coming from the Wenlock limestone formations near the town of Dudley rating among the most beautiful and renowned in the world. In fact, one particular species, Calymene blumenbachi (pictured), has become so synonymous with the area that the city of Dudley’s town crest proudly boasts an illustrated version of the fossilized local “locust”. Over 80 trilobite species have been discovered and described from the area’s most famous collecting locale, Wren’s Nest, where the 420 million year-old strata has produced hundreds of magnificently preserved complete specimens. Now designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest  (where digging for fossils is prohibited), Wren’s Nest remains one of the most studied and storied of European fossil locales.

Ready for more trilobites? Check out the Museum’s dedicated trilobite website.

Peddars Way

River Nar, April 2015

There are 210 chalk streams in the world, 160 of which are in England and the River Nar is one of them. What makes them so special is that chalk is porous and rainwater falling on these hills doesn’t run off in torrents, it percolates through the ground to springs lower down. Chalk hills act as aquifers, they store vast quantities of water so that chalk streams have a famously stable flow and temperature. Rain water is naturally slightly acidic and chalk is soluble in rainwater so that the spring water emerging from chalk hills is alkaline and mineral-rich. The results are gin-clear streams which support complex ecosystems. Amongst other things they have a mythical status amongst dry-fly fishermen for their large populations of wild brown trout.

Chalk streams are lowland streams. They are fertile life giving places that have supported thousands of years of human settlement. We have been sustained by them and more recently we have abused them terribly. The Nar was made navigable in the mid eighteenth century with a series of sluices, locks, banking and dredging work all the way to West Acre but a century later the King’s Lynn to Dereham railway had killed it’s commercial viability. Chalk streams receive the same pollution we gift to all our waterways but they suffer more than other rivers from over abstraction of water. Not only is water taken directly from them but from their aquifers as well. The famously gushing springs at Houghton-on-the-Hill dried up after Anglian Water sunk a bore hole into the aquifer. What was once recognised as so precious that people chose to worship by it, is now a commodity which all 70 million of us think we have a right to use so carelessly every day. A chalk stream ceases to be a chalk stream if the flow of water is compromised and if the flow is compromised too much it’s temperature will fluctuate and it’s ecosystem will eventually fail.

But enough of the doom and gloom, the River Nar is lovely. It’s been officially recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and the The Norfolk Rivers Trust have just completed a three year restoration project at Castle Acre. I walked downstream and drew on the edge of the River Nar Long Distance Footpath. I didn’t see a soul all afternoon. The river flows flat and silent here through a shallow reedy valley, only betraying it’s impatience with the vaguest swirl of a current on the surface. Fish rose and belly-floped back into the water, the green of new reed growth electrified the banks and smooth toped clouds proposed above it all. A hot April afternoon spent drawing on the banks of the River Nar is about as perfect as it gets.

St Nectan’s Glen, Tintagel, Cornwall. One of Cornwall’s most sacred sites. St.Nectan’s waterfall is in a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), it has been described as amongst the ten most important spiritual sites in the country.A place of outstanding natural beauty. The magic and tranquility of St Nectan’s Kieve are unique. The Kieve is a potent symbol of Mother Earth.