Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark

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The Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark is one of a new generation of landscape designations that has been created specifically for the interest of the rocks and scenery within a particular area.

The 1250 sq km of the Geopark span four counties; Shropshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, in a strip of countryside that is at most 18km wide and 83km long. In this Geopark there exists a Forum of organisations with influence over strategic initiatives and day to day activities in the Geopark in the fields of geology, forestry, heritage, conservation and education as well local wildlife and landscape protection and management.

In the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark you will find outstanding geology that spans 700 million years of our Earth’s history. This, coupled with dramatic landscapes and a wealth of ecological, historical, and cultural gems, makes the Abberley and Malvern Hills a truly unique Geopark. The rocks tell a fascinating story of continental collision, shallow tropical seas, hot deserts, tropical swamps, coastal lagoons, vast ice sheets and polar deserts. These changes in ancient depositional environments and the associated rock types have produced the diverse landscapes that can be seen in the Geopark today.

Not only does the Geopark have significant geological value but there exists also a wealth of wildlife, archaeology, industrial heritage and historic buildings. Why not combine the experience of geological heritage and spectacular landscapes with other attractions for all the family and take a fascinating journey through geological time - all within the heart of England.

From Iron Age forts to mining towns, poets to musicians and Victorian industrialists to present- day artists, the geology and landscape within the Geopark has had an inescapable influence on those who inhabit the area.

The Geopark is rich in both buried and visible archaeology, from the Neolithic period onwards sitting alongside a significant industrial and mining heritage. Local quarrying is reflected in the construction of medieval and later buildings; particularly churches that are found throughout the area. These include numerous nationally important Grade I or II* listed buildings.

The uniquely wide-ranging geology of the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark is directly responsible for its varied landscape character and the range of habitats and species found within it. Within the Geopark you will find numerous Nature Reserves and parks in which to enjoy nature. Several sites offer opportunity to explore both nature and geology – Severn Valley Country Park, The Wyre Forest, The Malvern Hills and May Hill, to name but a few.

With an abundance of tourist attractions and amenities the Geopark has something to offer everyone. Severn Valley Country Park Visitor Centre, Bewdley Museum, Cob House Fisheries, Worcestershire County Museum, Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum, the Malvern Hills GeoCentre and Ledbury Heritage Centre all offer information about the Geopark.

Each year the member organisations of the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark host GeoFest, a three month programme of events and activities highlighting and celebrating the geology, landscape, heritage and wildlife of the Geopark. Throughout June, July and August events include walks, talks, exhibitions and children’s activities along with ‘Ask the Expert’ sessions and demonstrations.

The Geopark exists to promote excellence in geoconservation and to make a contribution to local economies through sustainable geotourism.

Huntley Quarry[edit]

This quarry within the Geopark is owned and has been cleared up by the Gloucestershire Geology Trust.

Geopark Way[edit]

The Herefordshire and Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust submitted a successful application to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to develop the Geopark Way which it has now done. This extensive trail uses public transport, cycleways and footpaths and enables local residents and visitors to explore all or parts of the Geopark with ease.

The trail uses existing trails and trackways following the River Severn from Bridgnorth to Bewdley. It weaves its way south through hills and valleys to Ledbury and from there it continues on to Gloucester. The trail highlights the diverse geology found in the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark.

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Coordinates: 52°17′49″N 2°22′34″W / 52.297°N 2.376°W / 52.297; -2.376