Overview maps
 Locality areas
  Cheddar Gorge
 Burrington Combe
 Shipham & Rowberrow
 Crook Peak & Axbridge
 Banwell to Churchill
 Harptree & Smitham Hill
 Draycott & Westbury-sub
 Wookey Hole & Ebbor
 Great Elm & Vallis Vale
 Mells & the Wadbury Valley
 The Vobster area
 The Whatley area
 Torr Works & Asham Wood
 Beacon Hill
 Stoke St Michael & Oakhill
 Holwell & Nunney
 Shepton Mallet & Maesbury
 Gurney Slade & Emborough
 The Nettlebridge valley
 Rocks of Mendips
 Geological timescale
 Ancient environments
 Geological structure
 Minerals and mines
  Minerals and mines
 Industrial archaeology
  Stone as a resource
 Employment & the economy
 Quarrying & geodiversity
 Quarrying & the environment
 History of quarrying
 Caves and karst
 How caves form
 Dry valleys and gorges
 Dolines and sinkholes
 Mendip caves
 Going caving
  Flora and fauna
 Typical Mendip habitats
 Special Mendip habitats
 Horseshoe bats
 Appendix of names
 Biodiversity of western
 Biodiversity of eastern
 External links
 Detailed site information
  Coal mining
  Mendip quarry companies
  East Mendip quarries
 Biodiversity of eastern
  West Mendip quarries
 Biodiversity of western
 Site map
Welcome to ‘Foundations of the Mendips’ website
Welcome to this interactive guide to the natural and man-made landscape of the Mendip Hills. The Mendips are situated 30 km south of Bristol, in south-west England. The site shows that rocks and minerals are critical in forming the foundations of this beautiful and special region, its varied ecology and rich cultural heritage. It is designed so you can delve further into the geology, natural history and industrial archaeology of the Mendip Hills. At its heart are two three-dimensional models that will allow you to 'fly' across the landscape and find out more about the links between scenery and geology, biodiversity, industry, and mineral extraction in the Mendip Hills.
To navigate round the site, the information is divided into sections describing various aspects of the Mendips including:
  • Rocks and fossils
  • Quarrying
  • Minerals and mines
  • Caves and karst
  • Biodiversity and natural history
In addition, you can look at specific areas by using the interactive map. Follow the links, take a virtual tour and find out more about this special landscape. Captions will appear if you hover the cursor over the photographs.
If would like to explore the area on the ground, two 1:25 000 scale geological maps and guidebooks accompany this website and can be purchased at the BGS online shop.
  Binegar Quarry, Eastern Mendip
Guide books and maps
Go to the British Geological Survey home page Communities and Local Government Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Guide books and maps