Our landscape & its evolution

Yr Wyddfa

The British Isles has some of the most varied and amazing landscapes in the world. We have some of the oldest as well as the youngest rocks - which all give the the landscape its shape from mountains to fenland and from gentle downs to the "downed valleys" of the south west.

Around 10,000 years ago much of the land north of Oxford was under ice which carved out the deep valleys in North Wales, the Lake District and across Scotland and Ireland. The world has many cycles and the "ice ages" is just one of these. We are currently in a warm "inter glacial" period but we can expect the ice to return sooner or later and the evidence suggests the change will be rapid (decades not centuries).

Much, but certainly not all, of human history has occurred in that last 10,000 years as temperatures and landscapes have enabled settlement and survival at a range of latitudes (see "Human impact" pages).

These pages will reflect some on specific natural features or instances of the ongoing processes of change.

Topics in timeline order:

Date Title
20130609 2012 Isle of Wight Landslips

KM 09 June 2013




Start: 4.5 billion years ago
End: ongoing


British Geological Survey: Home page - links to maps and current geological activity