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Ironbridge Gorge named one of the UK's top ten Great Geosites (14th October 2014)

Ironbridge Gorge named one of the UK's top ten Great Geosites

Shropshire's Ironbridge Gorge has not only been listed in the Geological Society's "100 Great Geosites", but has also reached the top ten, being named the People's Favourite Great Geosite of Industiral and Economic Importance.

It was named alongside Stonehenge, Glencoe and Staffa in the Inner Hebrides after being chosen by 1,200 members of the public from a list of 100 UK "geosites" selected by the Geological Society of London to mark Earth Science Week.

Alongside Ironbridge Gorge, the top ten features educational sites such as Scarborough's Rotunda Museum and the mountainous wilderness of Assynt in the Scottish Highlands.  The full list of 100 geosites also includes the likes of Westminster Abbey and Durham Cathedral and feats of engineering including the Channel Tunnel, Bath Spa and Geevor Tin Mine.

Professor Rob Butler, Chairman of the Geological Society's geoconservation committee, said: "The list highlights the huge range of incredible geology the UK and Ireland have to offer. From the Outer Hebrides to Cornwall, from rocks showing how the crust formed billions of years ago to young sediments pushed around by ice sheets a few thousand years ago, we are unique in having such a diverse geological heritage over a relatively small area."

Earth Science Week, which was founded in 2011, aims to make members of the public more aware of the word around them.

Professor Butler added: "Thousands of people have been inspired to find out more about Earth science from first encounters in front of geological landscapes or a museum. Earth Science Week and the 100 Great Geosites are designed to encourage even more of the general public to get involved and enjoy some of the geology that surrounds us all."

A "geosite" is anything that highlights the importance of geology to human civilisation - a beautiful landscape, an engineered site, a museum, historical site or structure featuring striking building stones.

The final list of 100 was selected from over 400 nominations, the majority of which were submitted via social media, using the #100geosites hashtag. 

The 10 People's Favourites

Landscape: Assynt, Scottish Highlands

Industrial and Economic Importance: The Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire

Historical and Scientific Importance: Siccar Point, Berwickshire

Educational: The Rotunda Museum in Scarborough, Yorkshire

Adventurous: Staffa, the Inner Hebrides

Human Habitation: Stonehenge, Wiltshire

Coastal: Hunstanton Cliffs, Norfolk

Outcrops: Craster, Northumberland

Folding and faulting: Millook Haven, Cornwall

Fire and Ice: Glencoe, Scottish Highlands