Gloucestershire Geology Trust


Cotswold Hills Geopark

cots geopark logo

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 is today.

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 that the limestone that we now think of as typical of the Cotswolds was created.
When the seas receded, dinosaurs roamed 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.

Daglingworth Quarry
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




Gloucestershire Geoconservation Trust.  Registered Charity Number: 1115272. © 2016 All Rights Reserved.