Rocky places

Where to see rocky places

Minera Quarry nature reserve - Simon Mills

Rock ’n’ roll with geology

The rocks beneath our feet have a fascinating story to tell; a story that has lasted almost 3,000 million years and shaped our islands and their rich wildlife as we know it. In that time, the land beneath us has travelled halfway around the world; through periods of busy volcanic activity; colonised by swamps and rainforests; glaciers advancing and retreating; land buried under a kilometer of ice. Our countryside bears the scars of this dramatic history. Rocky cliffs, boulder-strewn hillsides, caverns and gorges, and quarries letting us peek into the Earth’s past.

Exposure of rocks million years old can reveal fossilised species like brachipods, gastropods and ammonites as well as fossilised shark teeth, shells and wood

Find rocky places near you

At Minera Quarry, near Wrexham the exposed rock, quarries and mines echo over 200 years of flourishing mining activity. The disused quarries provide excellent conditions for roosting bats including the greater horseshoe. Many species of wildflower including the fly orchid, harebell and wild thyme also benefit from the exposed rock, giving home to many invertebrates including the mountain bumblebee. 

What to look out for

You’ll find all sorts of things in our disused wild quarries and rocky places - industrial archaelogy, fossils, colonies of bats that roost in shadowy caves, reptiles, wildflowers, insects and birds.  Winter is a good time – you’ll see more geology with less vegetation

If you can't get to these places

Have fun exploring the wild places around you. You can share your photos with us by tweeting @North_Wales_WT or using the hashtag #wildgeology, or share them with our Wildlife Trusts group on Flickr. For a good introduction to the rocks beneath our feet, read “The Lie of the Land: an under-the-field guide to Great Britain” by Ian Vince.

More wildlife experiences

From seeing colourful wildflowers to spotting magnificent birds of prey, we can help you get closer to wildlife across North Wales.