Exploring the geology and landscape of the Geopark responsibly

The geology and landscape of the Geopark is there to be enjoyed and explored by all. Each of us has a  responsibility to respect it to ensure that its special qualities remain. The Geopark promotes and strongly supports the use of the Geology field Work Code and Countryside Code when exploring the area.

  • Collection of fossils, rocks or minerals that are in-situ (i.e. part of the bedrock) is not an acceptable practice
  • Please note that several sites in the Geopark are protected Sites of Scientific Interest (SSSI’s) and Regionally Important Geological Sites / Local Geological Sites (RIGS/LGS)
  • Please do not hammer or dig at any site
  • Stay safe distances from quarry faces and rock cuttungs – rock falls can happen
  • Consider your fitness level when planning your exploration, wear sensible shoes and be prepared for any weather
  • Always tell someone where you are going and how long you expect to be gone
  • Where sites are on private land, permission from the landowner must first be sought and given prior to any visit

The Geopark is not responsible for the state of any land, paths or sites listed on the website. People visiting these sites do so entirely at their own risk and should take due care at all times.  Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information given is accurate, no liability can be accepted for any errors, omissions or misrepresentations of fact contained in these pages.

A selection of Geological Sites in the Geopark

There are numerous geological sites, exposures, quarry faces, roadside cuttings and landscapes features throughout the Geopark.   Below is a table showing a selection of sites. You can download a detailed site spreadsheet by clicking here.

Click on the site name in the table to access a detailed description of the site.

Name00000000000  Grid0Reference Access Age000000000 Features
Abberley Hill SO 7603 6697 Open, along PRoW Landscape feature Exlpore the underlying Silurian rocks; fantastic views to the north and east that reveal the varying geology of the surrounding landscape
Astley Sunken Lane SO 7890 6745 Open, along PRoW Triassic Bedding; variable grain size; sedimentary structures
Callow Hill Quarry SO 7478 7408 Restricted access Carboniferous Variable lithologies; sedimentary structures; fossils
Castlemorton Common SO 791 390 Open access
Quaternary Fluvial processes; incised channel;  meanders
Chase End Quarry SO 7580 3505 Open
Precambrian Gneissose foliation; pegmatite veins
Clutters Cave SO 7619 3937 Open, along PRoW Precambrian Pillow lavas
Dingle Quarry SO 7650 4567 Open access Precambrian Dykes; fault breccia; shear zone; variable lithologies
Dog Hill Wood SO 7127 3837 Open, along PRoW Silurian Variable lithologies; fossils
End Hill, Malverns SO 7669 4699 Open access Landscape feature Fantastic vantage point to discover the varying topography to the east, west and north of the Malvern Hills, dictated by the underlying geology and structural setting of the area
Gardiners Quarry SO 7662 4207 Open access Precambrian Variable lithologies; shear zone; faulting; dykes; veining; slickensides; area structural geology
Gullet Quarry SO 7616 3813 Open access Precambrian; Silurian Dykes; veining; altered doleritic rocks; Gneissose foliation; shearing; area structural geology; faulting; sedimentary structures; fossils
Hartlebury Common SO 822 706 Open, along PRoW Quaternary Terrace deposits;  wind blown sands; biodiversity
High Rock SO 7240 9394 Open, along PRoW Triassic Sedimentary structures; variable lithologies; stratigraphic sequencing
Hobbs Quarry SO 6942 1938 Open Silurian Bioherms; fossils; stratigraphic sequence; variable lithologies; sedimentary structures
Huntley Quarry Geology Reserve SO 7097 1954 Open Ordovician; Silurian; Triassic Folding; faulting; unconformity; area structural geology
Ivy Scar Rock SO 7732 4637 Open access Precambrian Sub-volcanic intrusion
Knapp and Papermill Gorge SO 7491 5170 Open, along PRoW Quaternary Fluvial processes; nature reserve
Lavington Cave SO 7176 9282 Open Permian Sedimentary features
Leapgate Old Railway Line SO 8269 7202 Open Triassic Sedimentary features
Loxters Ashbed Quarry Wellington Heath, Herefordshire Permission required Silurian Anticlinal folding; area structural geology setting; fossils
Martley Rock SO 7451 5956 Open, on private land Precambrian; Cambrian; Silurian; Carboniferous; Triassic Shear zone; unconformity; area structural geology setting
Mathon Valley SO 7405 4650 (view point) Open, along PRoW Quaternary Quaternary landforms and fluvial history
May Hill SO 6955 2133 Open, along PRoW Landscape feature From the top of the inlier of May Hill views stretch in all directions towards landscapes underlain by rocks of various ages
Park Wood SO 7642 4441 Open Silurian Sedimentary structures, variable lithologies; fossils; stratigraphic sequencing; area structural geology
Redstone Rock SO 8143 6998 Open, along PRoW
Triassic Sedimentary structures
Route 45 nr Dowles Brook SO 7462 7644 Open, along PRoW Carboniferous Sedimentary features
Southstone Rock SO 7085 6395 Open, along PRoW Quaternary Tufa Cliff; active tufa formation; spring line
SVCP riverside rock face SO 7485 8386 Open, along PRoW
Carboniferous Sedimentary structures; stratigraphic sequencing
Tank Quarry SO 7689 4707 Open access Precambrian Pegmatite; intrusions; quartz vein; barytes; area structural geology setting
Teme Valley SO 7450 6030 Open, along PRoW Quaternary River Teme; Ice Age history
The Canyon SO 7526 6176 Open Silurian Fossils, bentonites; faults; folds; area structural geology setting
The Holding Pens SO 7905 7545 Permission required Permian Sedimentary features
The Nubbins SO 7499 5993 Open, on private land
Triassic Sedimentary features; industrial heritage
The Tramway SO 7485 8284 Open, along PRoW Carboniferous Sedimentary features; industrial heritage
Walsgrove, Cockshot, Pudford and Rodge Hills (Abberleys Hills) SO 7480 6228 Open, along PRoW Landscape feature The ridgeline is composed of Silurian limestones. View to west explore the Teme Valley and the Bromyard Plateau; the north are the Clee Hills and to the east lies the Worcester Basin.
Westbury Garden Cliff SO 718 128 Open – NOTE TIDAL Triassic Variable lithologies; fossils
Whitman’s Hill Quarry Storridge, Herefordsire
Permission required Silurian Sedimentary structures; folding; bioherm; fossils; stratigraphic sequencing;

 

Abberley Hill

Shavers End Quarry as viewed from Abberley Hill

Shavers End Quarry as viewed from Abberley Hill

Geological Overview
Abberley Hill rises out of the otherwise gently rolling landscape and is made up of rocks that formed around 420 million years ago, during the Silurian Period. These rocks were uplifted along a line of weakness in the Earth’s crust during a mountain building events that happened between 360 and 250 million years ago.

At locations such as Shavers End Quarry the layers of Silurian-aged limestones and shales you can see that they layers of rock are almost vertical, and even in places have been overturned, all due to the powerful forces exerted on the rocks during the aforementioned mountain building event.

Location
Astley and Dunley & Abberley, worcestershire; Grid Reference: SO 7603 6697

Access
Open,  along public rights of way

Geological Age
The Hill – Silurian

Rock Types
Sedimentary – Shale and limestone

Features
Explore the underlying Silurian rocks
Fantastic views to the north and east that reveal the varying geology of the surrounding landscape

Interpretation
Shavers End Quarry interpretation board – exploring the structure and lithologies of Abberley Hill
Abberley Hill interpretation board exploring the surronding landforms and landscapes
Section 6 of the Geopark Way trail
Explore Abberley Hill trail guide

Astley Sunken Lane

Astley sunken lane

Astley sunken lane

Geological Overview
This sunken lane leads from Astley church down to Dick Brook and Newbridge Coppice. The track cuts down through several layers (beds) of red sandstone – a Triassic-aged rock which formed around 230 million years ago.

Many of the different layers of sandstone display varying sedimentary structures. Beds differ in thickness, some displaying no features, others are finely laminated, other are cross bedded.

With the diversity of sedimentary structures and grain sizes, some of them subtle, this sunken lane is a pleasing location to explore the environment in which the sediments were first deposited to later be formed into rock.  What type of environment allows for this rapidly (in geological terms) changes in environment to create the sedimentary structures seen?

Location
Astley, Worcestershire; Grid Reference: SO 7890 6745

Access
Open,  along public rights of way

Geological Age
Triassic – Bromsgrove Sandstone Formation

Rock Types
Sedimentary – Sandstone, siltstone, mudstone

Features
Variable grain-size
Sedimentary structures

Interpretation
Section 6 of the Geopark Way trail

Callow Hill Quarry

Callow Hill Quarry

Callow Hill Quarry

Geological overview
The quarry lies some 200m from the Wyre Forest Discovery Centre. The quarry consists of Carboniferous conglomerates, sandstones and siltstones together with exhbiting sedimentray features.

This is a Community Conservation Champions site.  The ‘Champions’ are a loosely knit group of volunteers who are actively involved in the maintenance and public promotion of 19 geological sites spread across the counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire. They are engaged in a wide range of activities which vary according to the nature of the site.

Location
The Wyre Forest, Callow Hill, Worcestershire Grid Reference: SO 7478 7408

Access
Restricted access. Please contact the Community Conservation Champions.

Champions-Logo-Final1-300x249Geological Age
Carbonifeorus – Etruria Formation

Rock Types
Sedimentary – Sandstone; conglomerate;  palaesols

Features
Variable lithologies
Sedimentary structures
Fossils

Interpretation
Interpretation board on site
An infomation leaflet is available

Castlemorton Common

Gorse on Castlemorton Common

Gorse on Castlemorton Common

Geological overview

The free draining common owes it’s presence due to the gravel which underlies it. These are fragments of rock that have been washed down from the Malvern Hills during summer melts in the Ice Age. The ground on the common was frozen, and the waters that flowed down would have deposited the material it carried on the surface.
In the banks of a stream, are Pleistocene Malvern Gravels containing pinkish Malvern granite and darker pebbles of volcanic rock from the hills above set in a finer matrix.

Location
Castlemorton, Worcestershire Grid Reference: SO 791 390

Access
Open access

Geological Age
Triassic
Quaternary

Features
Fluvial processes
Incised channel
Meanders

Chase End Quarry

Gneissose foliation in Chase End Quarry

Gneissose foliation in Chase End Quarry

Geological Overview
The quarry lies within a fault-bounded inlier (an area of older rocks surrounded by younger rocks) composed of the rocks of the Malverns Complex. This inlier forms the southernmost extent of the Malvern Hills and, as such, the quarry is the most southerly exposure of the Malverns Complex.  The rocks in the quarry are metamorphic rocks of the Malverns Complex. The rocks were originally diorites; medium to coarse grained intrusive igneous rocks, containing plagioclase, amphibole or biotite, estimated to be around 680 – 670 million years old.

Location
Bromsberrow, Malvern Hills, Gloucestershire; Grid Reference: SO 7580 3505

Access
Open

Geological Age
Precambrian – Malverns Complex

Rock Types
Igneous – Diorites
Metamorphic- gneiss

Features
Gneissose foliation
Pegmatite veins

Interpretation
Interpretation board on site
Uncovered’ Chase End Hill trail guide
Section 13 of the Geopark Way

Clutters Cave

Clutters Cave, Malvern Hills

Clutters Cave, Malvern Hills

Geological Overview
South of British camp on the Malvern Hills just below the west side of the ridge is a man made cave, Clutter’s Cave or Giant’s Cave. This has been excavated into pillow lavas. Almost 600 million years ago a volcano erupted under the sea. It was cooled by the cold sea water and a solid crust formed around globules of lava, which were piled up as more lava erupted. Though they have since been deformed by Earth movements some of the rounded ‘pillow’ shapes can still be seen around the entrance to the cave.

Here there are also beautiful views over the Herefordshire countryside and from the ridge over the valley of the River Severn to the Cotswolds

Location
Eastnor, Malvern Hills, Herefordshire; Grid Reference: SO 7619 3937

Access
Open access

Geological Age
Precambrian – Warren House Volcanics

Rock Types
Igneous – Basalt

Features
Pillow lava

Dingle Quarry

Dingle Quarry Champions Site

Dingle Quarry Champions Site

Geological overview
Dingle Quarry is a small quarry in West Malvern. It is split into three different levels: Lower, Middle and Upper Dingle. Lower Dingle is located to the rear of a bus stop, with much of the exposure obscured by vegetation. Middle and Upper Dingle are located off a path directly above the bus stop. Middle Dingle can be easily accessed, whereas Upper Dingle cannot be accessed safely.

The geology of Dingle Quarry dates to the Precambrian, approximately 680 Million years ago, which means the rocks are some of the oldest exposed in England. The clear quarry face enables amateurs and experts to study the complex nature of the igneous and metamorphic geology on display.

Dingle Quarry is a Community Conservation Champions site.  The ‘Champions’ are a loosely knit group of volunteers who are actively involved in the maintenance and public promotion of 19 geological sites spread across the counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire. They are engaged in a wide range of activities which vary according to the nature of the site.

Location
West Malvern, Malvern Hills, Worcestershire Grid Reference: SO 7650 4567

Access
Open access 

Champions-Logo-Final1-300x249Geological Age
Precambrian – Malverns Complex

Rock Types
Igneous – diorite; granite; dolerite

Features
Dykes
Fault breccia
Shear zone
Variable lithologies

Interpretation
Interpretation board
Malvern Community Champions trail and guide

Dog Hill Wood

Dog Hill wood, Ledbury

Dog Hill Wood, Ledbury

Geological Overview
TDog Hill Wood and the immediate surrounding area tell a fascinating geological story. Byinterpreting the different rocks seen, including their relationships to each other, the incredible story of how these rocks came into being, along with the events that took place to shape the landscape, all begin to emerge.

The rocks that underlie Dog Hill Wood all formed during the Silurian Period. It was a pioneering British geologist, Sir Roderick Murchison, who first identified this series of  rock in the 1830s during his extensive field investigations in South Wales and in Herefordshire.

Location
Ledbury, Herefordshire; Grid Reference: SO 7127 3837

Access
Open along public right of way

Geological Age
Silurian  – Wenlock
Silurian – Ludlow

Rock Types
Sedimentary – Limestone; shale

Features
Variable lithologies
Fossils
Local geological history and structural setting

Interpretation
Interpretation board on site
Ledbury – Over coral seas and sandy deserts (a ‘Walks for Health’ leaflet)
Section 11 of the Geopark Way trail

End Hill, Malverns

North and End Hills, Malverns

North and End Hills, Malverns

Geological Overview
The main body of the Malvern Hills comprises a north-south trending ridge of igneous and metamorphic rocks. The extremely resistant nature of these rocks contributes towards the elevated nature of the Hills in comparison to the surrounding landscape. Throughout their geological history the Hills have experienced lengthy periods of uplift with localised folding and faulting in response to major Earth movements. Compressive forces associated with the creation of the supercontinent Panagea, some 300 million years ago, contributed to the elevation of the Hills and also led to the development of a series of faults which cut across the ridge. These faults have disrupted the north-south alignment of the Hills, displacing some of the Hills to the west.

Location
North Malvern, Malvern Hills, Worcestershire: SO 7669 4699

Access
Open access

Geological Age
The Hill is Precambrian – Malverns Complex

Features
Fantastic views of the Mesozoic Worcester Basin to the East;  Silurian hill and valley topography to the west; the line of the East Malvern Fault towards the Abberley Hills ridgeline to the north
Structural geological history setting for the area, the Geopark and the region

Gardiners Quarry

Gardiners Quarry Champions Site

Gardiners Quarry Champions Site

Geological overview
In Gardiners Quarry the story is not so much one of differing rock types, but about what has happened to the main mass of the Malvern Hills rock since it formed all those years ago during Precambrian times. The main body of rock in the quarry is diorite. Rather than being one continuous body of rock however, the quarry face is fractured – sections of the rock have broken apart forming joints, or have broken apart and moved – been displaced, relative to the neighbouring section of rock along geological faults. Along with displacing and fracturing masses of rock, movement along these faults has left other telltale signs in the rocks – slickensides, dykes and mineralisation.

Gardiners Quary is a Community Conservation Champions site.  The ‘Champions’ are a loosely knit group of volunteers who are actively involved in the maintenance and public promotion of 19 geological sites spread across the counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire. They are engaged in a wide range of activities which vary according to the nature of the site.

Location
Colwall, Malvern Hills, Herefordshire; Grid Reference: SO 7662 4207

Access
Open access

Champions-Logo-Final1-300x249Geological Age
Precambrian – Malverns Complex

Rock Types
Igneous – granite, dolerite

Features
Variable lithologies
Shear zone
Faulting
Dykes
Veining
Slickensides

Area structural geology

Interpretation
Interpretation board
Malvern Community Champions trail and guide
‘Explore’ Malvern Hills 1 guide

Gullet Quarry

Gullet Quarry, Malvern Hills

Gullet Quarry, Malvern Hills

Geological overview
The main face shows a cross-section through most of the Preambrian rock that makes up the core of the Hills. The face itself exhibits many rock types including diorite, granite, gneiss, schist, pegmatite and dolerite. The evidence of the complex history of earth movement which formed the Hills can be seen by multiple joints, fractures, faults and shears, which make identifying changes in rock types difficult. Within these features mineral deposits such as haematite, calcite and epidote can be found.

The nature of the contact between the Malverns Complex and the overlying Silurian rocks has been a matter of debate for many years, although the balance of opinion now favours an unconformable relationship. A fault which cuts the Silurian sequence and extends into the Malverns Complex below is probably of Upper Carboniferous age, associated with the uplift of the hills.

Location
Eastnor, Malvern Hills, Herefordshire; Grid Reference: SO 7616 3813

Access
Open access

Geological Age
Precambrian – Malverns Complex

Silurian – May Hill Sandstone Group

Rock Types
Sedimentary – donglomerate; sandstone; limestone; shale
Igneous – dolerite; granite;
Metamorphic – gneiss; schist

Features
Dykes
Veining
Altered doleritic rocks
Gneissose foliation
Shearing
Faulting area structural geology; faulting;
Sedimentary structures;
Fossils
Variable lithologies
Area structural geology

Interpretation
Interpretation board
‘Explore’ Malvern Hills 2 guide

Hartlebury Common

Hartlebury Common

Hartlebury Common

Geological overview
The majority of the Common is underlain by loose, beach-like sand. The sand is believed to have formed as Britain was coming out of the last ice age (beginning around 10,000 years ago) during a cold tundra period (ice desert). Strong winds blew up the sand from exposed river terraces west and south-west of Stourport, and deposited spreads of it on the flanks of the Stour Valley. It is possible that the sand used to cover a wider area, however changing conditions and human activity may have played a part in restricting its spread to its present locations. The sand has created a rare inland dry dwarf scrub heathland, with many species of rare plants. In addition, an old, peat infilled channel of the River Severn has led to the development of many mosses and spores on the surface – a unique feature in the Geopark.

Location
Hartlebury, Worcestershire; Grid Reference: SO 822 706

Access
Open along public rights of way

Geological Age
Triassic – Sherwood Sandstone Group
Quaternary 

Rock Types
Sedimentary – sandstone
Unconsolidated deposits – sand and gravel

Features
River terrace deposits
Wind blown sands
Nature Reserve

Interpretation
Section 5 of the Geopark Way trail
Stourport – from gravel pits to a nature reserve (a ‘Walks For Health’ Leaflet)

High Rock

Sandstone overlain by conglomerate at High Rock

Sandstone overlain by conglomerate at High Rock

Geological overview
The red sandstone is Permian in age and formed when the area was covered by a huge desert, much like the Sahara today. In the cliffs you can see the shapes left behind by massive sand dunes as they travelled across the hot, dry continent.

The overlying conglomerates are Triassic in age and are referred to as the Kidderminster Formation unit of rocks. The pebble beds were created by flash floods that rushed down from the mountains, bringing destruction in their wake.

Location
Bridgnorth, Shropshire; Grid Reference: SO 7240 9394

Access
Open along public rights of way

Geological Age
Permian- Bridgnorth Sandstone Formation

Triassic – Kidderminster Formation

Rock Types
Sedimentary – sandstone; conglomerate
Unconsolidated deposits – sand and gravel

Features
Sedimentary structures
Variable lithologies
Stratigraphic sequencing

 

Hobbs Quarry

Hobbs Quarry, Longhope

Hobbs Quarry, Longhope

Geological overview
Hobbs Quarry contains a rare exposure of fossilised reefs that formed in a warm, shallow sea during the Silurian period. Today the remains of these coral reefs and the sea creatures that lived over 400 million years ago are preserved as fossils in the limestone

The fossilised reef-like mounds are called bioherms (known to the quarrymen as ‘ballstones’) with their associated sinuous drapes of overlying limestones. These are unbedded, very fine-grained limestones deposited by calcareous algae.

Also found are corals, such as Halysites, Favosites, Heliolites. Stromatopriods are often found in growth position as part of the bioherms.

Location
Longhope, Gloucestershire; Grid Reference: SO 6942 1938

Access
Open

Geological Age
Silurian – Much Wenlock Limestone Formation

Rock Types
Sedimentary – limestone, shale, mudstone

Features
Bioherms
Fossils
Stratigraphic sequence
Variable lithologies
Sedimentary structures
Nature Reserve (Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust)

Interpretation
Interpretation board on-site
Hobbs Quarry trail leaflet
Huntley, Longhope and Hobb’s Ridge trail guide

Huntley Quarry Geology Reserve

Huntley Quarry

Huntley Quarry

Geological overview
The Reserve was officially opened in 2007, and is the first geology reserve in Gloucestershire. The reserve, and its surrounding woodland, cover an area of 0.87 hectares and is owned and managed by Gloucestershire Geology Trust. Three quarries, as well as the bluebell and daffodil woodland can be visited at the reserve.

Acker’s Quarry is a small site, which exposes Triassic Bromsgrove Sandstone sediments, some 237 – 228 million years old. These sediments were probably deposited in a river or estuary that flowed across the deserts of the supercontinent Pangaea.

Bright’s Hill Quarry can be found to the back of Huntley Quarry. Exposed here are Early Silurian (Huntley Hill Formation) siltstones and sandstones, dating from 436 – 428 million years ago. These sediments were probably deposited in a shallow marine environment, which bordered a landmass called the Midlands Platform.

Huntley Quarry is the main quarry within the reserve and is a ‘geological gem’. Listed below are just a few of the reasons why this quarry is geologically very important:

  • The only known exposure of the Huntley Quarry Beds. These have recently been dated to Late Ordovician to Early Silurian, 445 – 439 million years ago
  • The sandstones and siltstones that make up the Huntley Quarry Beds contain volcanic material, lava and ash fall deposits. These are volcaniclastic sediments
  • The Blaisdon Fault is very well displayed within the quarry
  • The Huntley Quarry Beds appear to lie near horizontal near the A40, becoming obviously overturned in the main quarry
  • The Huntley Quarry Beds appear to form the core of the May Hill Dome
Location
Huntley, Gloucestershire; Grid Reference SO 70951955

Access
Open

Geological Age
Silurian – Huntley Quarry Beds
Triassic – Bromsgrove Sandstone Formation
Triassic – Mercia Mudstone Group

Rock Types
Sedimentary – sandstone, silstones, volcanaclastic material

Features
Folding
Faulting
Unconformity
Area structural geology and geological history setting

Interpretation
Interpretation boards on site
Huntley Quarry Geology Reserve booklet
Section 15 of the Geopark Way trail
Huntley, Longhope and Hobb’s Ridge trail guide

Ivy Scar Rock

Ivy Scar Rock, Malvern Hills

Ivy Scar Rock, Malvern Hills

Geological overview
. . .

Location
Great Malvern, Malvern Hills, Worcestershire; Grid Reference: SO 7732 4637

Access
Open along public rights of way

Geological Age
Precambrian – Malverns Complex

Rock Types
Microdiorite

Features
Sub-volcanic intrusion

Interpretation
Section 10 of the Geopark Way trail

Knapp and Papermill Gorge

Leigh Brook, Knapp and Papermill Nature Reserve

Leigh Brook, Knapp and Papermill Nature Reserve

Geological overview
The Leigh Brook flows through the centre of a steep sided gorge in the Knapp and Papermill Nature Reserve. From its source to the south the brook follows relatively low ground, but here it suddenly enters the high ground formed by the hard Silurian rocks before emerging onto the Severn Plain. The valley through the hills is narrow and meanders on a scale fitting a much larger river.

It is believed that before the Ice Age, and before the soft rocks in the surrounding countryside were so greatly eroded away, a large river flowed along this course but on a wide plain at an altitude close to that of the present hill peaks. Some evidence for this rests in the small patches of river gravels found high on the adjacent hills.

During the Anglian Ice Age (500,000 years ago) this area was at the edge of a large ice sheet. As this ice melted, large quantities of melt water gushed down the river and cut a valley through the Silurian rocks to create the gorgewe see today.

Location
Alfrick, Worcestershire; Grid Reference: SO 7491 5170

Access
Open along public rights of way

Geological Age
Quaternary

Features
Fluvial processes
Classic riffle and pool morphology
Gravel bars and mid-channel islands
The brook is one of a rare number of watercourses that cross the Malvern Hills watershed
Geomorphology
Nature Reserve (Worcestershire Wildlife Trust)

Interpretation
Section 9 of the Geopark Way trail
Alfrick and the Suckley Hills’ geology and landscape trail

Lavington Cave

Lavingtons Cave, Bridgnorth

Lavingtons Cave, Bridgnorth

Geological overview
These rocks represent fossilised sand dunes and were part of a vast desert that existed around 299 million years ago.

During Permian times the Geopark sat landlocked 20 degrees north of the equator on a single continent known as Pangea. This had formed from a drifting together of all the previous continental plates of the earth’s crust. The wind was blowing sand dunes across a vast Sahara-like desert whilst occasional flash floods deposited alluvial fans.

Close inspection of a typical Bridgnorth Sandstone shows the grains of sand within are well rounded and polished by abrasion as they bounced against each other across the desert surface. The sand is dyed red by iron oxide which weakly cements the grains of quartz together.

Bridgnorth town was under siege in 1646, during the Civil War and a Colonel Lavington had forces dig tunnels towards the church, where St. Mary’s stands and where Royalist explosives were stored. He intended to blow up the church, but the event never took place, after excavating a tunnel 70 feet long, the castle surrendered and the digging stopped.  The caves  have been used as habitations since they were formed.

Location
Bridgnorth, Shropshire; Grid Reference: SO 7176 9282

Access
Open

Geological Age
Permian – Bridgnorth Sandstone Formation

Rock Types
Sedimentary – sandstone

Features
Sedimentary structures
Social history

Interpretation
Section 1 of the Geopark Way trail
Bridgnorth – Rocks beneath your feet (a ‘Walks For Health’ Leaflet)

Leapgate Old Railway Line

Leapgate Old Railway Line, Wilden Top

Leapgate Old Railway Line, Wilden Top

Geological overview
The ‘Old Railway Line’ cuts through the red sandstone bedrock. These sandstones are Triassic in age, belonging to the ‘Sherwood Sandstone Group’ of rocks.

The Sherwood Sandstone Group, the older Permian-aged Bridgnorth Sandstone and the younger Triassic-aged Mercia Mudstone Group have one thing in common; they were deposited in a vast rift basin, called the Worcester Basin.

The Worcester Basin was north-south orientated and formed during the Permian period. Its western edge, in the Geopark area, followed the line of a major fault-line, the East Malvern Fault. In the present day this fault line is most clearly marked by the Malvern, Suckley and Abberley Hills. The eastern edge of the Basin followed the line of another major fault-line, the Inkberrow Fault.

Into this basin a great variety of different sedimentary rocks were deposited and formed. Some were windblown deposits, others were despotised by streams and rivers, evaporate deposits also formed in lakes and the other significant deposit was alluvial fans that formed along the edge of the basin. Each of the rocks represents the changing environments experienced in the basin through the passage of time.

The rocks seen along the ‘Old Railway Line’ belong to the Wildmoor Sandstone Formation, part of the Sherwood Sandstone Group of rocks. They are around 220 million years ago and comprises soft, weakly cemented, pale red-brown, micaceous, sandstones.  The well-rounded, evenly sized grains suggest reworking of windblown sands that were deposited the Worcester Basin during the Permian period.

Location
Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire; Grid Reference: SO 8269 7202

Access
Open

Geological Age
Triassic – Wildmoor Sandstone Formation

Rock Types
Sedimentary – sandstone, siltstone

Features
Sedimentary structures

Interpretation
Section 5 of the Geopark Way trail

Loxters Ashbed quarry

Loxter Ashbed Quarry Champions Site

Loxter Ashbed Quarry Champions Site

Geological overview
Loxter Ashbed is a disused limestone quarry. The geology of Loxter Ashbed Quarry dates to the Silurian period of time, approximately 422 million years ago. The rocks are limestones and belong to the Aymestry Limestone Formation. The site is a wonderful example of an anticline together with offering a few fossils.

Loxter Ashbed Quarry is a Community Conservation Champions site.  The ‘Champions’ are a loosely knit group of volunteers who are actively involved in the maintenance and public promotion of 19 geological sites spread across the counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire. They are engaged in a wide range of activities which vary according to the nature of the site.

Location
Wellington Heath, Herefordshire

Access
The site is on private land. Access available to groups by prior arrangement. Please email or phone Mandy on 01531 634303 to arrange a visit.

Champions-Logo-Final1-300x249Geological Age
Silurian – Aymestry Limestone Formation

Rock Types
Sedimentary – Limestone, shale

Features
Anticlinal folding
Area structural geology setting
Fossils

Interpretation
2 x Interpretation boards

Martley Rock, Martley, Worcestershire

Carboniferous strata

Carboniferous strata

Geological overview
The geology at Martley Rock is exceptionally varied, puzzling and of great scientific interest. Spanning over 700 million years it includes some of the oldest rocks in England. Walking from the entrance to the far side of the site you pass through five geological time periods. Amazing, in such a short distance!

The main feature at the site is an exposure of the most northerly outcrop of the Precambrian aged Malverns Complex (around 700 MY old), some 15 kilometres north of the main Malvern Hills ridgeline. The ancient Precambrian Malverns Complex and the Martley Quartzite (around 530 to 488 MY old) at the site are surrounded by progressively younger rocks. Silurian mudstones (around 416 MY old), Carboniferous mudstones, siltstones and sandstones (around 308 MY old) and Triassic sandstones (around 230 MY old) are all present. Quaternary aged sands, deposited sometime over the last million years, are also visible.

Location
Martley, Worcestershire; Grid Reference: SO 745595

Shear zone

Shear zone

Access
Open, but on private land; Group visits by appointment only

Geological Age
Precambrian – Malverns Complex
Cambrian – Martley Quartzite Formation
Silurian – Raglan Mudstone Formation
Carbonifeorus – Halesowen Formation
Triassic – Bromsgrove Sandstone Formation

Rock Types
Sedimentary – sandstone, siltstone, mudstone, clay, quartzite
Metamorphic – meta-igneous
Igneous – granite, diorite, syenite

Features
Structural geology
Shear zones
Local and regional geological history

Interpretation
Three interpretation boards on-site with QR codes
Site leaflet (click here)
Features on local geology walks – Martley Geology Trail 2 & Martley Geology Trail 3

Mathon Valley

Mathon

Mathon

Geological overview
A substantial river once flowed south on the western side of the Malvern Hills ridgeline. This river, the Mathon River, is long gone but the wide river valley that it created, The Colwall Valley, is a landscape feature of today. The sand and gravel deposited from the Mathon River together with younger river, lake and glacier deposits found in the area represent the fluctuations between glacial and interglacial conditions over the last 450,000 years.

The coarse and sandy gravels deposited from the Mathon River contain a high percentage of material from the local area: Silurian limestones and Malverns Complex rocks, together with clasts from further afield, including Bunter Pebbles, coal debris, Longmyndian volcaniclastic sandstones (from the church Stretton area) and Jurassic fossils.

It was around 450,000 years ago that the Anglian Ice sheet, advancing from Wales and terminating near the Malvern Hills, blocked the Mathon River and formed a glacial lake in the Colwall Valley. Deposits of clays and silts observed in Mathon record this event. When the ice finally melted, it left a changed river system. With the Mathon River no longer draining the area, the Cradley Brook developed flowing northwards towards the Leigh Brook, Alfrick, and onto join the River Teme.

Location
Mathon, Herefordshire; Grid Reference: SO 7405 4650 (view point)

Access
Open along public rights of way

Geological Age
Quaternary

Features
Quaternary landform

Geomorphology

Interpretation
Mathon and the Malvern Hills geology and landscape trail

May Hill

View from May Hill to the horseshoe bend of the River Severn - the southern most extent of the Geopark

View from May Hill to the horseshoe bend of the River Severn – the southern most extent of the Geopark

Geological overview
May Hill is the most conspicuous landscape feature in the southern part of the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark and the views from the top are spectacular in all directions. The striking differences in landscape produced by the diverse underlying geology can be clearly seen in the contrast between the hilly uplands, produced by the older Palaeozoic rocks to the west, and the flat plain of the Severn Vale to the east, formed by softer Mesozoic sediments. Even on the hill itself there are minor variations in relief caused by the diversity of Silurian rocks outcropping. These range from hard limestones to soft sandstones and siltstones and contain a varied assemblage of characteristic Silurian fossils.

The underlying structure of the area is that of a NE trending pericline, truncated by faulting in the north and south, and bounded by more faults to the west and east; the eastern fault being an extension of the major East Malvern Fault that separates the Palaeozoic rocks from the Mesozoic sediments of the Vale. Within these faults, the rocks are folded into a dome, which has been eroded, leaving the oldest rocks exposed in the centre of the dome – the May Hill inlier.

Location
May Hill, Gloucestershire; Grid Reference: SO 6955 2133

Access
Open along public rights of way

Geological Age
Silurian  – May Hill Sandstone Group

Features
From the top of the inlier of May Hill views stretch in all directions towards landscapes underlain by rocks of various ages

Interpretation
Section 15 of the Geopark Way trail
May Hill ‘uncovered’ – geology and landscape trail

 

Park Wood

Geological overview
. . .

Location
Colwall, Herefordshire; Grid Reference: SO 7642 4441

Access
Open

Geological Age
Silurian – Much Wenlock Limestone Formation

Silurian – Coalbrookdale Formation 

Rock Types
Sedimentary – limestone, sandstone, siltstone, mudstone

Features
Sedimentary structures
Fossils
Variable lithologies
Stratigraphic sequencing
Area structural geology
Industrial aarchaeology – limekilns

 

Redstone Rock

Redstone Rock

Redstone Rock

Geological overview
Just south of Stourport a magnificent river cliff of fine grained red sandstone is seen. Although mainly homogenous in terms of geology, there are white streaks and thin bands of coarse material running throughout the section.

The soft sandstone of Redstone Rock is easily carved and there is evidence of human-made habitation in the cliff face since Stone Age times. The caves that can be seen today were mostly made in the 12th century, when a hermitage was established there, conveniently located for the hermits to be on hand to offer blessings and prayers for passers-by in return for alms.  It was said to house up to 500 men, who may have also manned the ferry crossing, which was there due to the presence of a ford until the river was dredged. The caves were later used as domestic dwellings and were inhabited almost continuously until the mid twentieth century. 

Location
Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire; Grid Reference: SO 8143 6998

Access
Open along a public right of way

Geological Age
Triassic – Wildmoor Sandstone Formation

Rock Types
Sedimentary – sandstone, siltstone

Features
Sedimentary structures
Social history

Interpretation
Section 5 of the Geopark Way trail

Route 45 nr Dowles Brook

Variety of lithologies in Carboniferous Etruria Formation

Variety of lithologies in Carboniferous Etruria Formation

Geological overview
This exposure of Carboniferous-aged, Etruria Formation rocks consist of multi-coloured red, purple, yellow and green-grey, commonly mottled mudstone. These sediments were deposited on a well-drained alluvial plain and were extensively affected by soil-forming processes. Layers of sandstone within the layers of finner-grained mudstones and siltstones represent the deposits of shallow river channels and sheet flooding.

Location
Kinlet, Wyre Forest, Shropshire; Grid Reference: SO 7462 7644

Access
Open along a public right of way

Geological Age
Carboniferous – Etruria Formation

Rock Types
Sedimentary – sandstone, siltstone, mudstone, clay

Features
Sedimentary structures

Interpretation
Section 4 of the Geopark Way trail

Southstone Rock

Southstone Rock

Southstone Rock

Geological overview
The Teme valley is notable, especially in the Shelsleys area, for the locally abundant deposits of tufa. These calcium rich deposits formed, and in some cases are still forming, as spring waters are discharged through the underlying Bishops Frome Limestone.

Southstone Rock is one of the largest mounds of tufa in the locality and probably formed in part some six to seven thousand years ago. It is of interest both geologically and archaeologically. A small cottage was once situated on top of Southstone Rock. It was also thought to be the site of a chapel and a hermitage, although any traces of these are long gone.

Tufa from the area has been quarried as a building stone. A prime example is the church of St Andrew in Shelsley Walsh.

Location
Stanford with Orleton, Worcestershire; Grid Reference: SO 7085 6395

Access
Open along a public right of way

Geological Age
Quaternary

Rock Types
Tufa

Features
Tufa cliff
Active tufa formation
Spring line
Social history

Interpretation
Southstone Rock geology trail 

Riverside quarry face in Severn Valley Country Park

Geological overview
These exposures of red-brown sandstones with intermittent thin layers of red-brown mudstones are Carboniferous in age and belong to the rock unit known as the Salop Formation, the youngest Carboniferous-aged rock unit in the Geopark. The slightly older Carboniferous-aged sandstones of the Halesowen Formation can be seen not far from here on the higher ground at and around Severn Valley Railways Engine House. The marked difference between these two rock units is the colour, a change from green to red-brown. This change in colour indicates that the environment in which the rocks formed was markedly different.

Rocks of the Halesowen Formation formed in a humid delta environment, whereas the Salop Formation rocks represent sedimentation from rivers on a well-drained alluvial plain.

Location
Severn Valley Country Park, Highley, Shropshire; Grid Reference: SO 7485 8386

Access
Open along public right of way

Geological Age
Carboniferous – Salop Formation

Rock Types
Sedimentary – sandstone

Features
Sedimentary structures

Interpretation
Section 2 of the Geopark Way trail

Tank Quarry

Tank Quarry

Tank Quarry

Geological overview
Tank Quarry is one of largest quarries that can be found on the Malvern Hills.  Located on the north-eastern side of North Hill, the quarry faces reach approximately 100m in height and are 80m wide at the base.

The geology of Tank Quarry dates to the Precambrian, approximately 680 million years ago, which means that these rocks are some of the oldest exposed in England. The clear quarry face enables amateurs and experts to study the complex nature of the igneous and metamorphic geology on display.

The quarry itself is not accessible however the rest of this large site has many accessible rock faces, a geology trail, interpretation boards, picnic area, wonderful view across the Worcester plain and a carpark.

Tank Quarry is a Community Conservation Champions site.  The ‘Champions’ are a loosely knit group of volunteers who are actively involved in the maintenance and public promotion of 19 geological sites spread across the counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire. They are engaged in a wide range of activities which vary according to the nature of the site.

Location
Malvern, Worcestershire; Grid Reference: SO 7689 4707

Access
There is no access to the main quarry faces. The rest of the site however has open access

Champions-Logo-Final1-300x249Geological Age
Precambrian – Malverns Complex

Rock Types
Igneous – granite, diorite

Features
Pegmatite
Quartz vein
Barytes
Area structural geology setting
Intrusion
Shear zone
Local and regional geological history

Interpretation
Interpretation board
On-site geology cairns with rock specimens
Malvern Community Champions trail and guide
‘Explore’ Malvern Hills 1 guide
Section 10 of the Geopark Way trail
Tank Quarry trail leaflet

Teme Valley

River Teme, Martley

River Teme, Martley

Geological Overview
The River Teme is remarkable for its near natural form and as such is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) throughout its length. Known as the ‘Wild Daughter of the River Severn’ due to its sinuous nature, it twists its way for 81 miles from its source on Cilfaesty Hill, Powys, Wales, through its often steep-sided valley to its confluence with the River Severn near Worcester.

The history of the River Teme is complicated and encompasses glacial diversions, river captures, glacial lakes, melt-water torrents and bygone river systems.

Today the Lower Teme has a deep channel cut in a wide alluvial plain. Channel plan-form is one dominated by free menders across the floodplain. Since the Teme is a ‘flashy’ river, which responds rapidly to rain fall inputs to the basin, large and rapid changes in stage, velocity and discharge occur. Thus form-process relationships at the channel margins are readily observable and often spectacular in nature. Channel change can be rapid. Cut-offs and near cut-off are numerous along the river’s course and floodplain features such as backchannels and old oxbows can be seen clearly.

Location
Teme Valley, Martley, Worcestershire; Grid Reference: SO 7450 6030

Access
Open along public right of way

Geological Age
Quaternary

Features
Geomorphology
Ice Age interpretation of the changing course of the River Teme

Interpretation
Interpretation board on site
Martley geology trails 1 and 3
Section 7 of the Geopark Way

The Canyon

The Canyon, near Penny Hill Quarry

The Canyon, near Penny Hill Quarry

Geological Overview
The rocks exposed in the Canyon formed during the Silurian period (416-444 million years ago). Back then, the layout of the oceans and continents across the Earth looked very different. The land which would eventually form this part of Britain was located in the southern tropics on a continental shelf, blanketed in a warm, shallow, tropical sea.  Carbonate productivity was extremely high in the warm Silurian sea, resulting in sequences of limestones and small patch reefs (bioherms). Pulverised shell debris and crinoid fragments within the limestone layers suggest the Silurian shoreline was prone to occasional heavy storms and vigorous wave action. By the Silurian a great number of sea creatures had evolved hard external skeletons – trilobites, corals, crinoids, brachiopods and mollusca. At times the floor of the tropical sea was, in areas, a waving meadow of generation upon generation of crinoids.

The layers of limestone in the Canyon face are all tilted from the horizontal. This is as a result of a long-lived deformational episode of mountain formation after the rocks were formed – an episode referred to as the Variscan Orogeny.  The stresses and strains placed on the once horizontal layers of rock during this episode caused them to uplift, fold and in places be ripped apart along fault lines. Some of the phases of this episode were regional others very localised. By looking at the structures within the rock face it is possible to work the relative ages of the large scale and the very localised deformation phases that this unit of rock has been subjected to.

Location
Martley, Worcestershire; Grid Reference: SO 7526 6176

Access
Open

Geological Age
Silurian – Much Wenlock Limestone Formation

Rock Types
Sedimentary – limestone; shale; bentonite 

Features
Fossils
Volcanic ash (bentonite) layers
Faults
Folds
Area structural geology setting

Interpretation
Interpretation board on site
Martley geology trails 1 and 3
Section 7 of the Geopark Way

The Holding Pens

The Holding Pens

The Holding Pens

Geological overview
The Holding Pens is a small quarry located adjacent to the Severn Valley Railway viaduct. Slightly set back from the road, it is approximately 10m in depth, 10m high and 6m wide.

The geology of The Holding Pens dates to the Permian period, approximately 295 million years ago. The exposure and the building stone of the viaduct that forms the southern margin of the site, are comprised solely of the Bridgnorth Sandstone Formation, a series of sandstones deposited in a desert environment.

The Holding Pens is a Community Conservation Champions site.  The ‘Champions’ are a loosely knit group of volunteers who are actively involved in the maintenance and public promotion of 19 geological sites spread across the counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire. They are engaged in a wide range of activities which vary according to the nature of the site.

Location
Bewdley, Worcestershire Grid Reference: SO 7905 7545

Access
Permission required to access the quarry. Please contact the Community Conservation Champions. The quarry can however be viewed from the roadside.

Champions-Logo-Final1-300x249Geological Age
Permian – Bridgnorth Sandstone

Rock Types
Sedimentary – Sandstone

Features
Sedimentary structures

Interpretation
Interpretation board on site
‘Bewdley Champions’ booklet available from Bewdley Tourist Information Centre
Informal guided visits to the sites can be arranged. Please contact the Community Conservation Champions.

The Nubbins, Martley, Worcestershire

IMGP3348

Abundant sedimentary and industrial heritage features

Geological Overview
The Nubbins escarpment is composed of sediments of Triassic age, the Bromsgrove Sandstone. The rocks display fine sedimentary structures and exhibit many features that delve into the sites industrial history.

Location
Martley, Worcestershire; Grid Reference: SO 748598

Access
Open, but on private land

Geological Age
Triassic – Bromsgrove Sandstone Formation

Rock Types
Sedimentary – sandstone, siltstone, mudstone

Features
Sedimentary structures
Industrial archaeology

Interpretation
Interpretation boards on-site with QR codes
Features on local geology walks – Martley Geology Trail 1, Martley Geology Trail 2 & Martley Geology Trail 3

The Nubbins Quarry escarpement composed of Triassic aged Bromsgrove sandstone

The Nubbins Quarry escarpement composed of Triassic aged Bromsgrove sandstone

The Tramway

Carboniferous sandstone exposed along a footpath (former tramway) in SVCP

Tramway cutting, Carboniferous sandstone, in Severn Valley Country Park

Geological overview
Highley forms part of the Wyre Forest Coalfield, an area covering 50 square kms. Since medieval times the various rock types making up the coalfield have been mined and extracted contributing both to the economy and character of the area.

Stone quarrying has quite literally helped shaped Highley. This tramway was cut to transport coal from the mine at the top of the hill down to the loading bay at the level of the railway line.

These outcrops of rock are made of sandstone and were formed during the Carboniferous period, some 310 million years ago. Back during the Carboniferous rivers flowing from the north transported sand particles into a delta system in the Wyre Forest Coalfield area. As the river entered into this larger mass of water its energy decreased forcing it to deposit the sand particles it was carrying. Over time great quantities of sand accumulated. This sand was then buried and over time the loose material turned into hard rock.

If you take a close look at the rock face you can see defined lines running horizontally across it, breaking the sandstone into layers, called beds. These lines are called bedding planes. The upper bedding plane of each bed represents a pause in deposition of sand into the delta. Within some of the beds you will be able to make out fainter lines, called laminations. The nature of these laminations can be indicative of minor fluctuations in the supply and nature of sediment to the delta.

At the far end of this cutting you can see evidence of where the quarrymen have been at work, preparing the stone. The rock face is covered in pick marks, creating an even surface, known as a dressed surface.

Location
Severn Valley Country Park, Highley, Shropshire; Grid Reference: SO 7485 8284

Access
Open along public right of way 

Geological Age
Carbonifeorus – Halesowen Formation

Rock Types
Sedimentary – sandstone

Features
Sedimentary structure
Industrial archaeology

Interpretation
Section 2 of the Geopark Way trail
Severn Valley trail: Bridgnorth to Highley
Highley Trail

Walsgrove, Cockshot, Pudford and Rodge Hills (Abberleys Hills)

View across the Teme Valley to the Bromyard Plateau and the Clee Hills (north), from Pudford Hill ridgeline

View across the Teme Valley to the Bromyard Plateau and the Clee Hills (north), from Pudford Hill ridgeline

Geological Overview
The ridgeline rises out of the otherwise gently rolling landscape, is made up of rocks that are around 420 million years old, formed during the Silurian period. Precambrian rocks, such as those in the Malvern Hills are overlain by folded and faulted shale and limestone. These rocks were uplifted, along a line of weakness in the Earth’s crust, during a mountain building event between 360 and 250 million years ago.  Since they were uplifted, the limestones have withstood the ravages of erosion over time to eventually remain standing proud of the surrounding landscape  because they are much harder.

The individual hills are offset from each other, rather than one continuos ridge due to the cluster of faultlines in the area. Movemnet along these faults have displaced the hard limestone.

The high vantage point afforded to the ridgeline gives rise to spectacular views across the surrounding landscapes. The ridgeline divides the Palaeozoic rocks to the west from the Mesozoic rocks to the east. This divide gives rise to variable landscapes due to the dfferent underlying rock types present either side of the divide and due to the significant difference between the number of earth movements each has experienced over their geological history.

Location
Shelsleys & Martley, Worcestershire; Grid Reference: SO 7429 6604 (north) – SO 7468 6091 (south)

Access
Open along public right of way

Geological Age
Silurian

Features
Views of landscapes and landforms
Teme Valley, Bromyard Plateau, Clee Hills, Worcester Basin, Malvern Hill
Ridge and vale topography
Geomorphology
Geological history setting
Structural geology

Interpretation
Interpretation boards on the ridge
Martley Geology Trail 1
Martley Geology Trail 3
Section 7 of the Geopark Way trail

Westbury Garden Cliff

Triassic Mercia Mudstone and Penarth Group at the Garden Estuary, Westbury

Triassic Mercia Mudstone and Penarth Group at the Garden Estuary, Westbury

Geological overview
The succession of rock units present in the river cliff are Late Triassic in age spanning both the Mercia Mudstone Group and the Penarth Group.

The red rocks that make up most of the lower part of the cliff are known as the Twyning Mudstone Formation; the overlying buff and green-grey layers belong to Blue Anchor Formation, both members of the Mercia Mudstone Group unit of rocks.

Above the Mercia Mudstone Group are the Westbury Formation and Lilstock Formation rocks, both belong to the Penarth Group unit of rocks. The former consists of dark grey to black, fossiliferous mudstones and thin sandstones with a ‘bone bed’ near the base of it containing many microfossils, bivalves, gastropods, fish and bones. The Lilstock Formation is a pale grey calcareous mudstone with a few thin siltstones and nodular, fine-grained limestones.

Collectively the rock units capture the transition of the depositional environment from a terrestrial to marine setting. The older units (Mercia Mudstone Group) are a mixture of aeolian dust, lake and sheetflood sediments deposited in an arid or semi-arid environment (evaporite minerals gypsum and halite confirm this environment). The Blue Anchor Formation is a mixture of freshwater lake and marine deposits. The overlying Penarth Group marks a change from the terrestrial environments into shallow marine shelf environments as a global sea level rise caused the low-lying area of the Worcester Basin to be inundated by the sea.

Location
Westbury on Severn, Gloucestershire; Grid Reference SO 718 128

Access
Open   NOTE TIDAL so select appropriate times and dates to visit

Geological Age
Triassic – Mercia Mudstone Group; Penarth Group

Rock Types
Sedimentary – Mudstone; siltstone

Features
Variable lithologies
Fossils
Stratigraphic sequencing

Whitman’s Hill Quarry

Whitmans Hill Quarry Champions Site

Whitmans Hill Quarry Champions Site

Geological overview
Whitman’s Hill quarry is a large disused quarry to the North of the Malvern Hills, leased by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust. The geology of Whitman’s Hill Quarry dates to the Silurian period of time, approximately 428 million years ago. The rock types include limestones, siltstones and volcanic ash layers known as bentonites. The interesting rock formations and the abundance of fossils – mainly corals, brachiopods, trilobites, crinoids, algae and bryozoans makes the site popular with geologists, amateurs, children and adults. An accessible fossil collecting area has been created at the quarry, as well as leaflets for visitors, outlining the geology and wildlife of the site and its quarrying history.

Whitman’s Hill Quarry is a Community Conservation Champions site.  The ‘Champions’ are a loosely knit group of volunteers who are actively involved in the maintenance and public promotion of 19 geological sites spread across the counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire. They are engaged in a wide range of activities which vary according to the nature of the site.Location
Storridge, Herefordshire

Access
The site is on private land. To arrange a visit please contact the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust.

Champions-Logo-Final1-300x249Geological Age
Silurian – Much Wenlock Limestone Formation; Coalbrookdale Formation

Rock Types
Sedimentary – Limestone, shale, siltstone, mudstone, volcanic ash (bentonite)

Features
Sedimentary structures
Folding
Bioherm
Fossils
Stratigraphic sequencing

Interpretation
Geology, history and wildlife leaflets
Guided & educational visits
School visits
Whitman’s Hill Geodiveristy website – educational material, fossil gallery, virtual tour and 3D terrain model