England’s geological history is diverse and dynamic. Over 600 million years of geological history are represented in the rocks and landscapes we see around us. Changing climate from tropical to glacial, repeated sea level rise and fall, the building and erosion of mountains, volcanic eruption and devastation, and the evolution and extinction of a myriad of life forms are all part of our geological past.

Our landscape today remains intimately associated with this underlying geology. For example, upland areas, such as the Pennines, are linked with ancient uplift and mountain building, Upper Cretaceous chalk forms the rolling hills of the North and South Downs and our spectacular coasts are a reflection of rocks that vary from hard and resistant to soft and rapidly eroding.

This section describes England’s geology county by county. The descriptions are simple and aim to give a sense of local geological history, some geological highlights and suggestions of places to visit, many of which are Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

Geological history of England

This article provides a broad geological history for England. It is divided into geological Periods. For each Period the geography, environment and climate are described, key geological events are outlined and the typical rocks and landscapes we see today are highlighted. Period name | Age Quaternary | Present – 1.8 million years ago Neogene | …

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Bedfordshire and Luton geology

Overview Like the adjacent counties of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire, the geology of Bedfordshire is relatively simple and is reflected in observable changes in the landscape from north to south. Bedfordshire is located on the northern edge of the London Basin, with the oldest rocks being found in the north of the county and progressively younger …

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