Warren Farm, Stewkley SSSI

Bucks County Council administration area: Aylesbury Vale District Council; Buckinghamshire County Council

Grid reference: SP 851 242

Area of site: 1.5 ha; 3.6 acres

Access, location and parking: Warren Farm SSSI is 7 km west of Leighton Buzzard, 1 km south of Stewkley. The farm is accessed by several lanes off the B4032. Car parking is limited and at the farm itself.

Site description: Disused quarry, partially flooded, slopes degraded and vegetated, although still partly accessible.

Geological interpretation: The quarry shows the most northerly outcrop of the Portland and Purbeck Beds in England . This makes it a very important site for palaeogeographic reconstructions. Studies of the lithology and faunal content (particularly the ostracod faunas also make the site of importance for palaeoenvironmental studies. (Studies of salinity changes of marine to brackish to freshwater were also undertaken at the Bugle pit of the Portland-Purbeck boundary.) The site is therefore vital for stratigraphy, palaeogeography and palaeonevironmental research of Portlandian sequences.

Current and potential educational  use (geology, ecology, archaeology, industrial archaeology): No current use is made of the site for educational use, as far as is known, due to the overgrowth and flooding of the site. The potential of the site is as an SSSI to safeguard this potential exposure of geological interest.

Conservation interest: To maintain the geological interest by preventing infill or damage to the site.

Threats to site (present and future): (Not visited during the survey)

Constraints (basic risk assessment): (Not visited during the survey)

Development potential: Very little potential for educational use due to the access being via the farm thus causing disturbance to the owners, but also the problem that continued flooding would cause to maintaining an open and accessible exposure. For educational or training purposes the Portland and Purbeck are more easily seen elsewhere in the county (Whitchurch, Dunton, Stone, Quainton, etc.) The research  interest (the most northerly exposure) will be maintained under the SSSI notification.

Recommendations: File information. Not for BEHG activity.