G2: Condition of heritage features including designated geological sites and scheduled monuments

Final Final

Short description

This indicator consists of 2 measures that describe (a) the condition of geological and geomorphological heritage features of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and (b) the condition of Scheduled Monuments. Heritage features enable us to understand how our landscapes have been formed and are an important aspect of landscape character that significantly contribute to our enjoyment and appreciation of the natural beauty. We have a particular responsibility to conserve heritage features of designated sites. The indicator uses information from SSSI condition assessments and information which supports the production of the annual Heritage at Risk Register.

All geological (including geomorphological) features designated as SSSIs have first been subject to rigorous and systematic scientific assessment leading to their selection as nationally important Geological Conservation Review (GCR) sites. There are currently 1,150 SSSIs in England designated wholly, or in part, for their geology, encompassing 1,673 features identified through the GCR. Many SSSIs contain more than one geological heritage feature.

Monuments designated as Scheduled Monuments have been recognised by the Secretary of State as being nationally important. For a monument to be considered of national importance its surviving features, above and/or below the surface of the land or sea bed, must have a particular significance that relates to its historic, traditional, architectural, artistic and/or archaeological interest. There are currently 19,848 Scheduled Monuments in England.

Data are available on SSSI condition assessments (as a searchable database), and also as data download of SSSI Monitored features. Data on Scheduled Monuments at risk are also available. These data have been collated over an extended time period. It is not currently possible to update them in full on a regular basis. A programme of work aimed at assessing the condition of as yet unassessed geological features and reassessing the condition of features which have not been assessed for more than 6 years, was initiated in 2020 and updated data will be reported on in 2022.

Trend description

a) Condition of geological and geomorphological heritage features of Sites of Special Scientific Interest

In total, 60% of all designated geological features have been assessed as in favourable condition. A further 8% have been assessed as unfavourable but recovering. Approximately 1% have been destroyed or partially destroyed.

b) Condition of Scheduled Monuments

In total, 85% of all Scheduled Monuments are considered as being in optimal or generally satisfactory condition, whereas 13% are considered as either being in a generally unsatisfactory condition or having extensive significant problems.


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This table provides metadata for the interim or final indicator presented above.

Indicator name

Condition of heritage features including designated geological sites and scheduled monuments

Indicator reference


Outcome Indicator Framework theme

Natural Beauty and Engagement

Headline indicator status

Landscapes and waterscapes

Relevant goal(s) in the 25 Year Environment Plan
  • Enhancing beauty, heritage and engagement with the natural environment
Relevant target(s) in the 25 Year Environment Plan
  • Safeguarding and enhancing the beauty of our natural scenery and improving its environmental value while being sensitive to considerations of its heritage
Position in the natural capital framework
  • Condition of assets - freshwater
  • Condition of assets - land
  • Condition of assets - marine
Related reporting commitments
  • Reporting under the European Landscape Convention
Geographic scope

England, data for individual sites which may be presented at various geographical scales, including National Character Areas are also available.

Status of indicator development


Date last updated

11 June 2021