Compton Martin Ochre Mine
|Site of Special Scientific Interest|
The site of Compton Martin Ochre Mine
|Area of Search||Avon|
|Interest||Geological and Biological|
|Area||2.1 acres (0.0085 km2; 0.0033 sq mi)|
|Natural England website|
Compton Martin Ochre Mine (grid reference ) is a 0.85 hectare geological and biological Site of Special Scientific Interest located on the north side of the Mendip Hills, immediately south west of Compton Martin village, Somerset, notified in 1988.
It is a Geological Conservation Review site. The site comprises a network of underground tunnels and surface exposures on the eastern fringe of Compton Wood. The site exposes bedded hematitic iron ore (red ochre) in Triassic Dolomitic Conglomerates which was deposited underwater as a layered mass of iron oxide pellets of various types, probably in an ephemeral lake or pond fed by hot springs when the Mendip area was occupied by a desert environment some 220 million years ago during late Triassic times.
The mines are also used as a hibernation site by Greater Horseshoe Bats (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum). A rare and endangered species, the greater horseshoe bat is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and is listed in Annex II of the 1992 European Community Habitats Directive.