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The Society is delighted that the county has scooped three nominations in the listing of Britain's 100 Best Geosites selected by the Geological Society of London. Just revealed at the start of Earth Science Week, 14 October 2014, this listing was arrived at by a public vote on its website, www.geolsoc.org.uk/100geosites, for the favourite site in each of ten categories, plus another 90 sites selected by geological experts.

The Wrekin is listed in the 'Landscape' category:

Copyright Andrew Jenkinson (2014)

and Ironbridge Gorge was voted People's Favourite in the 'Economic and Industrial' category:

Copyright www.northstaffordshire.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Iron-Bridge.jpg (2011)

Andrew Jenkinson, projects officer for the Shropshire Geological Society, said "both sites are within the 10 km square numbered SJ60 on the national grid of the Ordnance Survey maps, and this helps to vindicate our belief that it is the most varied 100 sq km in the whole World. The rock may not be too obvious today, but in terms of its great span of different ages, its effect in shaping the landscape and its economic significance in creating the 'Birthplace of Industry' we don't think it's variety can be bettered anywhere!"

More scientifically, the Ludlow Series of rocks, named from its occurrence around that town, was selected as one of the 10 classic sites in the 'Historical and Scientific Importance' category. Andrew added "the Ludlow Series was established by Roderick Murchison as part of his Silurian System in 1839, and is now the name applied to rocks of that age anywhere in World".

Copyright Photo Travel Review Magazine (2007)

"All of this will add support to our next series of projects under the overall title of 'Rock around The Wrekin'" explained Andrew. "Geology has tended to be the poor relation of natural sciences. So we hope to show that all the features from The Wrekin itself, formed from ancient volcanic rocks erupted 600 million years ago; through the limestones of Lincoln Hill and Benthall Edge with their alkaline soil and distinctive flora; to the Coal Measures which were the source not only of fuel but of iron ore, clay and building stone, are the underlying reason for the area's variety and economic success. And how all of this was made more accessible by the cutting of the Severn Gorge during the last Ice Age, a few 10s of thousands of years back, not the 100s of millions of the older rocks."

Shropshire Geological Society are planning a number of activities for schools as well as exhibitions, lectures and guided walks in the area over the next two or three years. These will all be advertised locally and on this website over the coming months.

 

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