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Rifle Butts SSSI – partnership agreement between HGS and YWT. 2015

 Parties to the agreement –

Scientific importance of the site –

Brief background –

There has been a rifle range in the Goodmanham area since before the arrival of the railway. The Rifle Butts site was probably never a quarry.

The scientific importance of the site was given official status in 1952 when it was declared a SSSI for its geology.

A number of scientific societies contributed to the purchase of the site by the YNU in 1964 including the HGS and YGS.

In 1987 the Nature Conservancy Council enlarged the exposure and asked volunteers from the Hull Geological Soc to “adopt” the site. The HGS volunteers began to make regular visits to the site to keep the exposure clean. After a few years funding was raised to put a roof over the site in 1993 to keep the exposure dry and thus reduce the damage from winter frosts. The HGS was careful not to cause geological contamination to the site - by minimising digging in the site floor and ensuring that rocks used to fill the gabions were very different from local deposits.

The agreement –

 Members of the HGS will visit the site at least once a year to remove scree and debris from the exposure, remove any vegetation from the exposure; cut back vegetation above the exposure; clean the notice board and generally keep the geological site tidy for visitors.

 Hammering of the exposure without permission is prohibited.

 Material removed from the exposure should be deposited away from the geological site so as not to contaminate the floor of the geological site, as agreed with the YWT; e.g. near the main entrance to the site. Interesting geological specimens and fossils found loose in the scree during the HGS maintenance visits should be eventually placed in the public domain (Hull Museum or the Treasure House).

 Members of the HGS may carry out small repairs to the site equipment – e.g. repairs to the netting, fencing and notice board.

 Any need for major repairs to the structure should be reported to the YWT.

 No work which could damage the integrity of the exposure or the floor of the geological site should be undertaken without the permission of the YWT and Natural England. Similarly permission is required to remove in situ specimens and samples from the exposure and geological site floor.

 Any vandalism or signs of unauthorised collecting from the site should be reported to the YWT and NE.

 The Committee of the HGS would appreciate it if they are consulted about any changes to the nature reserve which might affect their access to the geological site or changes to the management plan for the nature reserve which might affect the work carried out on the maintenance visits. Example – HGS volunteers like to use a wheelbarrow to move the scree debris so changes to gates and fencing could affect this.

 HGS members regularly working at Rifle Butts should register as YWT volunteers using the document provided.

 Health and Safety –

 The risks involved in carrying out the geological site maintenance work are similar to those involved in gardening and light DIY.

 Generic risk assessment.




Safety measures

Trip hazard from brambles


Cut them back to create a safe route

Cuts and scratches from vegetation


Wear gardening or “riggers” gloves

Slips on muddy ground


Wear stout non-slip footwear

Climbing and falls


Do not climb the face or under the roof if not confident.

Tie a long rope to back of roof support to aid climbing



Do not overfill buckets or wheelbarrows. Bend knees not back when lifting.


Copyright - Hull Geological Society 2016

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