|Cotswold Hills Geopark
The beauty of the Cotswolds is more than just skin deep. It’s
the geology beneath the rolling hills and pretty villages that
makes this well-loved corner of England the unique place it
The geology of Gloucestershire is some of the most diverse
in Britain and tells a fascinating story of the changing
landscape of Gloucestershire over 200 million years. Its
influence can be seen in the biodiversity, agriculture and
even the beers of the Cotswolds (brewed with local water). Formed during the Jurassic period some 170 million years
ago, the distinctive honey-coloured limestone is the trademark of the Cotswolds.
The geology of the
Cotswolds is so special
that a swathe of land
almost 60 miles long
has been designated
as the “Cotswold Hills
Geopark”. A geopark is
an area of diverse and significant geology, which contains accessible sites and
actively promotes them to the community and to tourists. The geopark brings strong new impetus to a
cause that is supported by local authorities and voluntary
organisations as well as Cotswolds industries ranging from
tourism to quarrying.
Greenhouse to Icehouse
British weather today is generally moderate, but the layers
of rocks that lie beneath the Cotswold Hills tell of a
dramatically changing climate. Some 170 million years ago,
huge reptiles and shellfish thrived in a warm, shallow sea
that covered the land. It is from the remains of the shellfish
limestone that we
now think of as
typical of the
When the seas
the earth.The abundance of fossils found across the
proposed geopark include footprints and vertebrae
belonging to Megalosaurus.
When the seasonal snow caps of the last Ice Age melted
12,000 years ago, they cut the valleys we see today.
Back to the Future
You can find clues to our heritage across the Cotswolds – in
the wildlife, the landscape features and the exposed rock
outcrops. Our aim is to make sure that these geological sites
are properly preserved for future generations to enjoy.
Understanding geology is key to properly managing natural
resources, such as groundwater supplies and building materials.
There are few places in the UK where geology plays such a
significant role in the character of the built environment.
Towns and villages throughout the district derive much of
their character from the use of local limestone for building
and roofing, while drystone walls are one of the most
distinctive features of the Cotswold countryside.
Find out more about one of the largest working quarries in the Cotswold Hills Geopark.
Click HERE or on the logo above to visit the Cotswold Hills Geopark website