Somerset County Council


Geodiversity incorporates the variety of rocks, minerals and landforms and the processes that have formed these features through geological time. Best known are those rare and exceptional occurrences such as dinosaur footprints.  However, there are many more less-exceptional but equally important pieces of the geological jig-saw puzzle, which, when added together, give insight to past climates, earlier environments and life on earth.

About this service

Geodiversity contributes to our quality of life in many ways including:

  • Appreciation – geological features are admired by many people, with large numbers of visitors attracted to some sites. 
  • Knowledge – the study of these features enables us to understand the evolution and history of the planet. 
  • Products – commercial extraction provides building materials and minerals for industry.  Small-scale collection of fossils and minerals brings enjoyment to individuals. 
  • Natural Processes – the functioning of natural systems provide a number of essential services, such as water supply and natural flood defence. 

In 2004 a Geodiversity Audit was completed to record available information on the diversity of geological features in seven active quarry sites in the East Mendip area, where the oldest rocks in Somerset can be found. These are:

Coleman's Quarry
Dulcote Quarry
Gurney Slade Quarry
Halecombe Quarry
Moons Hill Quarry
Torr Quarry
Whatley Quarry

Active quarries provide some of the best and most extensive geological exposures available.  They offer a unique opportunity for three-dimensional observation as the geology continues to be revealed by continuing operations. This detailed information can provide a valuable insight to the geology in areas where surface exposure may be poor and interpretation of the hidden geological structure from surface features alone can be difficult.

How do I use it?

You can download an overview of the Geodiversity Audit and a summary report on each quarry (see the Information and Resources section for links). The full audit and report is available on CD. If you would like one please contact us.


Contact: Somerset Biodiversity 
Address Somerset County Council, 1 The Crescent, Taunton, TA1 4EA 
Contact no 01823 320468 
Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday: 8:30am to 5pm, Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm, Saturday and Sunday closed


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