Rotunda Museum in top 10 ‘geosites’

IT CHARTS the history of Yorkshire’s famous Jurassic coastline, and now Scarborough’s Rotunda Museum has been chosen among the 10 geological sites which have done the most to shape the landscape and cultural heritage of the United Kingdom.

Stonehenge, Glencoe and Staffa in the Inner Hebrides are among the “geosites” chosen by the Geological Society of London to be celebrated as part of Earth Science Week, which begins today.

Divided into 10 categories including landscapes, human habitations and sites of scientific importance, the list also features educational sites such as the Rotunda Museum as well as the mountainous wilderness of Assynt in the Scottish Highlands.

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The Scarborough attraction is famed for its collections of fossils found on the Yorkshire coast. The 10 “people’s favourites” were chosen by 1,200 members of the public from a list of 100 geosites in the UK and Ireland handpicked by the society.

Professor Rob Butler, who chairs the Geological Society’s geoconservation committee, said: “From the Outer Hebrides to Cornwall, from rocks showing how the crust formed billions of years ago to young sediments pushed around by ice sheets a few thousand years ago, we are unique in having such a diverse geological heritage over a relatively small area.”

A geosite highlights the importance of geology to human civilisation – a beautiful landscape, an engineered site, a museum, historical site or structure featuring striking building stones.

As well as outcrops and landscapes, the list of 100 identifies famous buildings such as
Westminster Abbey and Durham Cathedral and feats of engineering including the Channel Tunnel, Bath Spa and Geevor Tin Mine.