Wildlife and geology

The Avon Gorge is such an important place for wildlife that it has been internationally recognised as a Special Area of Conservation and nationally designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It is a Regionally Important Geological and Geomorphological Site. Part of Leigh Woods is also a National Nature Reserve and the Downs are a Site of Nature Conservation Interest.

For an introduction to the wildlife of the Avon Gorge, Downs and Leigh Woods you might like to watch Ester De Roj’s ‘The Avon Gorge’. We are grateful to Ester for allowing us to share her film with you.

For a more in-depth look at the wildlife and geology that makes this site so special click on the buttons below.

Discover more about the plants and animals that live in the Avon Gorge, Leigh Woods and on the Downs.

Find out about some of the nationally rare and scarce plants of the Avon Gorge.

Find out more about the geology of this nationally important site.

Photographs: Avon Gorge and Bristol onion (© Phil Jearey), Adult peregrine falcon (© Helen Hall). All other photos © Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project.