Landslide at Fenny Bentley, Derbyshire

Fenny Bentley location

The landslide at Fenny Bentley is located approximately 3 km north of Ashbourne in Derbyshire. As a result of this landslide, the B5056 road has become dangerous and has been closed. Movement on this section of road has been reported in local and national news for some time.

Road closed at Fenny Bentley

The BGS Landslide Response Team made a visit to the landslide on 13th August 2009 to investigate the failure. Information was collected for the BGS National Landslide Database and geological maps.

The BGS Landslide Response Team made a visit to the site on 13th August 2009 to investigate.


The geology underlying this slope is part of the Bowland Shale Formation, previously known as the Edale Shale. This is Carboniferous in age (Namurian) and belongs to the Craven Group.

The Bowland Shale Formation is composed of: mainly dark grey fissile mudstones, weakly calcareous interbedded limestones and sandstones. In discrete bands it is fossiliferous and is commonly associated with landslides throughout Derbyshire.

The Chesterfield Landslide Report and Derby Landslide Report highlight other areas where landslides occur in the Bowland Shale Formation.

Alluvial deposits are present in a flattened area at the bottom of the slope associated with the Bradbourne Brook.


Fresh landslide features known as mud flows were mostly seen in the upper part of the slope, below the road. The landslide reported is actually a reactivation of part of an older and larger landslide.

View of the front of one of the flow lobes seen in the upper section of the slope.
Close-up of the front of one of the flow lobes seen in the upper section of the slope, disrupting the trees.
Damage to the road and wall.
Close-up of damage to road (B5056)

Close-up of damage to a wall adjoining the road (B5056).

The 1:10 000 scale geological map shows the extent of the older and larger landslide. This landslide has not been printed on our 1:50 000 scale geological map, as it was too small to represent cartographically at this scale.

A scan of the original linework mapped in the field by the geologist shows the older, larger landslide deposit (vertical pencil lines).  Note 'unstable slopes' to the north east.

All the information about the landslide was collected by the Landslide Response Team, using BGS·SIGMAmobile technology.

Contact the Landslide Response Team

British Geological Survey
NG12 5GG
E-mail: Landslides team
Telephone: 0115 936 3143
Fax: 0115 936 3276