A NEW trail has been launched to highlight the importance of geology in the Ribble Valley and to encourage residents to learn more about the landscape.

The Clitheroe Geotrail, which has been put together by GeoLancashire, is part of a series of six trails linked across the borough.

The town’s economy is said to have been ‘built on rock’ thanks to its quarries and the trail will celebrate the areas geological differences.

The guide to the trail, which has been funded by Clitheroe-based Hanson Cement, includes information on the borough’s oldest rocks, sandstones and limestones, which were laid down between 410- to 510million years ago in the Ordovician and Silurian periods.

To tie in with the new trail, the cement company has opened a viewing platform at its Lanehead quarry and also funded a leaflet, the Clitheroe geotrail guide, as well as a footpath.

Two interpretive boards, one focusing on cement making and the other highlighting the local geology, have been will be put in place at the viewing point.

The new trail, which has also been produced by the Lancashire Group of the Geologists’ Association, is aimed at people with no specialist knowledge to help interpret the local geology and landscape.

The series also includes Preston, Brockholes, Ribchester, Dinckley Gorge and Long Preston.

Keith Williams, GeoLancashire’s secretary, said: “Clitheroe is built on rock literally and economically.

“It’s very important to educate people about the importance of the local geology and landscape and that’s the main role of the trails.

“It promotes the geodiversity of the Ribble Valley and also serves to highlight the importance of cement which is often overlooked.”

Hanson Cement’s principal geologist John Peate said: “Lanehead quarry is one of the best locations to view a continuous sequence of over 500m of Carboniferous age, Chatburn Limestone.

“The sequence comprises hundreds of individual beds of limestone separated by thin calcareous mudstone partings. Many of the beds contain fossils.”

For more information visit www.geolancashire .org.uk.