Martley - A GeoVillage

Martley in Worcestershire, UK, hosts a fascinating assemblage of geological features, providing exposures of at least eight periods stretching over 700 million years.
This article appeared in Vol. 13, No. 6 - 2016


The Geopark idea, now supported by UNESCO, has been around for a while (see links below), but a new concept on a smaller scale is that of the GeoVillage: a community that has distinctive geology within its bounds, a policy of locally managed geological discovery and conservation, educational offerings for both schools and adults and that uses its geological assets in support of the local economy.

Martley in Worcestershire, close to the border between England and Wales, has the honor of being the first GeoVillage in the UK. 

‘M’ indicates that the rocks are to be found in Martley. (Source: The geology in the small area of Martley parish shows remarkable diversity. As you traverse the parish from east to west – a distance of barely three kilometers - you walk over rocks representing hundreds of millions of years of the Earth’s history, from the Precambrian Malvern complex (670 ma) to Triassic sandstones (~230 MY); seven periods of geological time in one parish. 

The River Teme, the longest tributary of Great Britain’s longest river, the Severn, flows through the village and provides exposures of many of these rocks. Around 40 known features of geological interest have been identified and visitors are able to follow a number of marked trails, using downloadable guides to help them understand the geology, as well as information boards placed at strategic points in the village. There are also interactive 3D apps that explain the geological scene. For further information, see

Continents colliding, magma chambers far underground, warm shallow seas, steamy tropical forests and swampy lagoons ages old, rivers in harsh desert landscapes: clear evidence for all of these environments is to be found here! 

This very picturesque, historic and interesting corner of England is leading the way in making geology more accessible, and it is hoped that other geologically rich villages will follow in its footsteps.

  • Geo amble. (Source:

  • Permian pit. (Source:

  • Sandstone quarry, Martley. (Source:

  • Hunting for fossils. (Source:

  • Beer launch. Brew named after the Martley site. (Source: Worcester News)

Visitors please note that some of the site is on private land (Cob House Fisheries) and as such kindly respect the need to stay within the site boundary as shown at the entrance.


Related Articles

GEO Tourism North America

Scenic Geology of the Icefields Parkway

The drive from Lake Louise to Jasper on the Icefields Parkway, through the Banff and Jasper National Parks, Alberta, Canada, is a scenic tour that attracts people from all over the world. Cliffs and glaciers are visible along this three-hour drive, which is best stretched over at least a day, allowing time to stop often for photos, hikes and wildlife viewing. This article will focus on the area north up Highway 93, called the Icefields Parkway, between Lake Louise and the town of Jasper.
Thumb thumb

GEO Tourism Asia

The Kutch Basin of Western India

The fault blocks of the Kutch Basin in western India offer to the visitor a unique opportunity to observe the Jurassic-Cretaceous-Paleogene sediments rarely outcropping anywhere else on the Western Indian continental margin. A visit to Kutch also gives an opportunity to view and enjoy the rich cultural traditions and handicrafts of western India.
Thumb 1130x450 thumb