OR/19/054 Introduction

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Gareth Farr1, Jonathan Graham2, Andy Marriott1 & Elliott Hamilton1. 2019. Survey of selected tufa forming sites in Staffordshire, UK. British Geological Survey Internal Report, OR/19/054.

1  British Geological Survey
2  Fenland Botanical Surveys

Tufa sites are not well described for Staffordshire. Calcareous tufa forming springs, seepages and water courses with the mosses Palustriella commutata, Palustriella falcata qualify as the European habitat ‘H7220 Petrifying springs with tufa formation (Cratoneurion)’. Naturally occurring tufa forming springs and seepages are important wildlife habitats, especially for invertebrates, but remain little known in Britain for invertebrates (Boyce, 2002[1]). Several tufa-forming sites are known to occur within existing Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) but are not directly referenced within the citations. The aim of this survey is to report on a small selection (7) of known tufa sites within Staffordshire determine the presence of H7220 habitat and make recommendations for enhancement. This is not a comprehensive survey of Staffordshire’s tufa forming habitats.

Table 1    Site location, geology and occurrence of tufa and H7220 habitat.
Site Grid Ref Flow Site description & geology Active Tufa Palustriella H7720
Stanton Pastures SK1198 246962 Springhead Spring head with tufa dome in open field. Carboniferous Bowland Shale. Yes P. falcata Yes
Limestone Hill SK1381 646140 Seepage Wooded stream valley (Ordley Brook) with waterfall and adjoining seepages with tufa.
Sandstones of the Triassic. Chester Formation.
Yes P. commutata Yes
Kirksteads Brook SK0908 056817 Surface water brook Lightly wooded brook with series of tufa barrages.
Carboniferous Ecton Limestone formation.
Yes No No
Trickle Ridge SK0069 248260 Seepage Tufa seepage in woodland with large tufa block ‘Trickle Ridge’.
Carboniferous Woodhead Hill Rock.
Yes P. commutata Yes
Emerald Cave SK0050 748425 Seepage Tufa seepage in woodland with localised tufa domes.
Carboniferous Woodhead Hill Rock.
Yes P. commutata Yes
Booth's Wood SK0008 848546 Seepage Wooded seepage with small amounts of tufa.
Carboniferous Lower Coal Measures formation.
Yes P. commutata Yes
The Petrifactions SJ9209 634761 Seepage Wooded valley with shallow waterfalls, steep rock faces with tufa.
Triassic Kibblestone member and Mercia.
Mudstone Group.
Yes P. commutata Yes


  1. BOYCE, D C. 2002. English Nature Research Report Number 452: A review of seepage invertebrates in England.