Geodiversity is the variety of rocks, fossils, minerals, landforms and soils and the associated natural processes that determine the landscape and character of our natural environment.

Doncaster's geodiversity

An essential starting point in understanding our area’s geodiversity is the collation of up to date information on the geological deposits and the processes that have formed them and continue to influence them.

In Doncaster, over our long geological history, we have been slowly steamed in a rainforest, baked in a desert (like the Sahara today), covered by the sea (think of the Seychelles), sand blasted (think of a windy day at Bridlington, but worse!), subjected to flash floods, covered by a lake; and finally covered by a glacier and repeatedly frozen and thawed!

The most recent influences on our local landscape however, are people, the weather and the river systems.

Why is geodiversity important?

Geodiversity, links people, landscape, biodiversity and culture, and is a fundamental part of our everyday lives. An appreciation and understanding of geodiversity will help contribute toward a clearer understanding of biodiversity, as the geology has a significant influence on where habitats and species are found.

In Doncaster we have three very different underlying rock types; the coal measures, sandstones and shales to the west; the magnesian limestone ridge (an internationally rare rock type running from Norton to Tickhill) cut-through by the dramatic Don Gorge, with its crags, grassland and ancient woods; and the Sherwood sandstone ridge from Hatfield to Bawtry with its heathlands and ancient woodlands. These very different zones are made the more diverse by overlying deposits of clays, sands, gravels and, of course, the presence of two of the largest areas of lowland peatlands in western Europe. 

Geological resources are intrinsic to our everyday lives and provide the raw materials for buildings, industry, infrastructure, medicines, cosmetics, fuel and water. The minerals around us provide us with our homes, shops, hospitals, offices and schools and contribute to the regional economy by providing around 2,600 jobs.

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Last updated: 23 October 2023 10:38:45

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