Essential to the understanding the mines of the AONB in their true context as part of the Northern Pennine Orefield is an appreciation of the main geological features of the area, together with an understanding of the wider geological framework of Northern England.
Throughout its long history of mining this area has played a prominent role in the development of the geological sciences both in the UK and across the world. It remains an active focus of varying strands of geological research. As a result the area has spawned an enormous technical literature describing and interpreting its many and varied geological features.
In addition to the obvious direct link between former centres of mining and the geology which underpins them, an understanding of those geological factors is an essential foundation necessary to inform studies and interpretations of ecological issues, most notably the occurrence and distribution of lichens and calaminarian plant communities. An appreciation of local geological features is also vital to any consideration of conservation or preservation of mining related archaeological features.
The geology report written by Brian Young was produced for OREsome North Pennine volunteers as background to the eight sites under investigation within the OREsome project. The report is also intended to serve as essential background to any future work on mining, geological or ecological studies within the area.