Geography and Geology

The Village of Longhope is built on land that is of great geological interest.

May Hill

May Hill (to the North of the village) is made from Llandovery Sandstone, the earliest of the Silurian rocks.

Breakheart Hill

Breakheart Hill
Breakhart Hill

Breakheart Hill (to the West of the village) is composed of clay, various sandstones and marls. This old sandstone tends to be reddish in colour because of its high iron content. This in turn produces deep reddish soils that many fruit orchards are grown on the Eastern slopes of the Forest of Dean. Some of the very first fossil fish to be found in Britain have been discovered in these sandstone beds. The Devonian Rocks in the hills give the red acidic, heavy clay soils, familiar to all land in the village. The photo is of the Wilderness Quarry owned by George Read.

Special Sites of Scientific Interest

Longhope has three Special Sites of Scientific Interest (SSSI).

May Hill

May Hill was enclosed by an act of Parliament in 1873 and later passed into the hands of the National Trust in 1935. During The Second World War, many of the original plant species that were recorded as being on the hill were destroyed when the hillside was ploughed to plant potatoes and cereals for the war effort.

Hobbs Hill & Quarry

Hobbs Quarry
Hobbs Quarry

Hobbs Quarry is an example of a rare exposure of a 400 million year old fossilized reef (right). Many fossils have been found in the rocks and a few act as resources in the local schools. It is part of the Balisdon fault line and anyone visiting the quarry will see that the rocks have been "bent" by massive pressures.

Hopes Hill

The road cutting on Hopes Hill is often popular among geologists, who can sometimes be seen examining the rocks.

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