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NCA Profile: 30 Southern Magnesian Limestone (NE464)

An updated version of this profile is online at This pdf is retained for historical and completeness purposes.

The Southern Magnesian Limestone National Character Area (NCA) is mainly defined by the underlying Permian Zechstein Group, formerly known as the Magnesian Limestone. It creates a very long and thin NCA that stretches from Thornborough in the north down through north Derbyshire to the outskirts of Nottingham further south. The limestone creates a ridge, or narrow belt of elevated land, running north–south through the NCA, forming a prominent landscape feature. The geology has influenced many aspects of the landscape, from use of its limestone resource as a local building material to the specialised limestone grasslands associated with limestone areas.
The presence of the ridge, and the drift deposits covering much of it, has produced light, fertile soils that have attracted settlement for more than 13,000 years. The important archaeological evidence and mammal fossils found at Creswell Crags and the impressive barrows and henge monuments at Thornborough Henges (three intact henges) are nationally important geological and archaeological features that provide a historic link to the story of human settlement and society within the area and beyond. Opportunities to maintain the landscape setting of these important sites and increase access to and engagement with them need to continue to be secured.
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NE464: NCA Profile: 30 Southern Magnesian Limestone, PDF, 4.7 MB 2013/07/18


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