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#GeoparkOfTheDay #GOTD North Pennines AONB UNESCO Global Geopark in the UK: "A stunning landscape of open heather moors and peatlands, attractive dales and hay meadows, tumbling upland rivers, wonderful woods, welcoming communities, intriguing imprints of a mining and industrial past, distinctive birds, animals and plants and much, much more." The character of this unique landscape has its foundation in the underlying rocks and has been 500 million years in the making. Layers of carboniferous limestone, shale and sandstone form terraced hillsides, and have provided stone for the area’s distinctive dry stone walls and villages. The famous Whin Sill, a 295-million-year old igneous intrusion, forms dramatic cliffs and spectacular waterfalls. Cutting through the rocks are veins of lead ore and other minerals and the North Pennines is perhaps most famous for the North Pennine Orefield and its world-class mineral riches.
Centuries of mining have left a rich heritage of ruins and spoil heaps, now colonised by unusual plants. During the last glaciation a thick ice sheet smoothed the landscape, creating glacial landforms and deposits. A thick blanket of peat, which formed on the uplands after the ice melted, is a special habitat and represents England’s most important peatland resource.
Visitors can explore this fascinating area through festivals, events, educational activities in and out of school, evening classes, walking and cycling trails (including through our electric bike network) and much more.
More information: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/environment/earth-sciences/unesco-global-geoparks/list-of-unesco-global-geoparks/united-kingdom/north-pennines-aonb/