Mendip Hills AONB Map

Telling the Time in the Eastern Mendips - Presentation from Mendip Rocks! 2017

An exploration of geological time through the rocks and landscapes of the eastern Mendip Hills. A summary of a presentation by Dr Martin Whiteley at the finale of the Mendip Rocks! Festival 2017.

Mendip Earthquakes - Presentation from Mendip Rocks! 2017

Find out about how earthquakes occured in the area as a result of the tectonic forces that created the Mendip Hills hundreds of millions of years ago. A summary of a presentation by David Rowley at the finale of the Mendip Rocks! Festival 2017.


A report on the findings of research to consider the role dry stone walls play in the
ecological habitat of the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Discovering Black Down - Burrington Ham Nature Log Book

Burrington ham is a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) which means it is a really important place for wildlife. This book is packed with activities to help you explore Burrington Ham through the seasons.

Discovering Black Down - Orienteering Course

A permanent orienteering course on Burrington Ham which can be used for formal orienteering training by schools or uniformed groups or just as a day out for families to have fun and discover the natural and historic wonders of the commons.

Charterhouse Centre

Charterhouse is a residential centre located in the heart of the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is ideally situated for groups wanting to take advantage of the fantastic walks, local caves and climbing venues the area has to offer.

Mendip Outdoor Pursuits

Mendip, established in 1978, has evolved into one of the biggest and most reputable outdoor activity providers in the South West. Providing activities from our bases and sites across the Mendip Hills and beyond.

Foundations of Mendip (British Geological Survey) - Going Caving

If you are interested in going caving, one of the best ways of starting is by joining a local caving club or contacting the British Caving Association (BCA). They have the benefit of experienced members, and may be able to provide equipment, training, permits and access to local caves, as well organising trips and expeditions. There are numerous clubs based on or around the Mendip Hills. Many of the larger clubs offer accommodation in huts on or close to Mendip; these are listed below.

Mendip Hills AONB Downloadable Walks

A series of downloadable walking routes exploring the landscape, wildlife and history of the Mendip Hills.

Foundations of Mendip (British Geological Survey) - History of Quarrying

Discover the history of quarrying in the Mendip Hills and its legacy on the landscape, history and wildlife of the area.

Foundations of Mendip (British Geological Survey) - Quarrying and Geodiversity

Discover the rich 'geodiversity' of the Mendip Hills which means there is a large range of rock types exposed in a small area. This superb diversity of rock types, ranging from Silurian to Jurassic in age, are exposed in many natural rock outcrops, particularly in the western Mendips where the limestone gorges and caves at Cheddar and Wookey are national tourist icons

Woodland Trust - Dolebury Warren

A guide to Dolebury Warren which lies on the north scarp of the Mendips within the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is part of continuous woodland stretching for many miles along the slope.


A classroom in the countryside.
FarmLink provides fun and learning through an informative “hands-on” approach to education in a countryside setting.

Fernhill Farm

A holistic Eco-Farm on top of the Mendip Hills ~ An Arcadian Place to Stay.

Discovering Black Down - Recreation

Discover the history of tourism and recreation at the Burrington Commons.

Discovering Black Down - Natural History

Discover how the natural history and character of Burrington ham have changed over the years.

Discovering Black Down - Management of the Commons

Discover the fascinating history of farming and land-use on the Burrington Commons.

Discovering Black Down - Industry

Discover the industrial past of Burrington Ham from limestone quarrying and lime burning to mining for lead and calamine.

Discovering Black Down - The Hill Gardens

Discover how the Hill Gardens on Burrington Ham were once allotments created for local labourers by taking land from the edge of the common land of Burrington Ham.

Discovering Black Down - geology of Burrington Ham

Discover how Burrington Combe was created during periglacial periods over the past 1.2 million years. Today Burrington Combe provides a well-exposed section through the complete Carboniferous Limestone sequence (359 to 259 million years ago).

Discovering Black Down - Artistic Connections

Discover how the dramatic landscape of Burrington and Black Down has inspired artists, poets and writers.

Discovering Black Down - caves of Burrington Ham

Discover how over thousands of years streams flowing over the impermeable sandstone rocks of Black Down onto the permeable limestone rocks of Burrington Combe have worn away cracks in the rocks to produce a series of sink holes known as swallets as well as creating caves. Many of these caves were homes to nomadic humans as well as animals over 10,000 years ago. Caves that are sited on the Ham include Foxes Hole, Lionel’s Hole, Milliar’s Cave, and Plumley’s Hole.

Discovering Black Down - Archaeology of Burrington Ham

A guide to the two Scheduled Ancient Monuments on Burrington Ham – Aveline’s Hole and Burrington Camp.

Discovering Black Down - Burrington Ham Walk

A walk exploring Burrington Ham, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which features specialised limestone grassland and wild flowers, together with dramatic rocky outcrops, the impressive earthworks of Burrington Camp, and evidence of lead and calamine (zinc) extraction.

Discovering Black Down War Walk

A walk explorting how in World War II (1939-45), Black Down became a key site in the defence of Bristol.

Discovering Black Down - how successful was Starfish.

Discover how successful Starfish on Blackdown was at diverting bombing raids away from Bristol.

Discovering Black Down - Tumps and the Heinkel He 111

Discover how by the summer of 1940 due to the fear of invasion by the German Luftwaffe tumps were built on Black Down to prevent aircraft landing and taking off again.

Discovering Black Down - Decoys: QL's QF's and Starfish

Discover how,using lights and fires, Black Down was made to resemble a poorly blacked-out Bristol at night to divert bombs away from the city.

Discovering Black Down - Women and World War II

Discover the stories of how women played an vital role in the 'home front' in the area around Black Down.

Discovering Black Down - Starfish and World War II

Discover how In World War II (1939-45), Black Down became a key site in the defence of Bristol.
The decoy town at Black Down was one of the first, may have been the largest, of a network of sites across the country designed to divert bombing away from major cities.

Discovering Black Down - Starfish Stories

During the research into the history of Starfish on Black Down several people shared stories of how they were part of the secret wartime history of the site. Here you will find their recollections of what life was like and how they were involved with the secret world of Starfish.

Discovering Black Down - Starfish film

The Children of Blagdon Primary school with some help from Ruth Coleman (Starfish Producer) and Biggerhouse Film, visited Black Down and researched the story of Starfish to produce a short film. A mixture of live drama and animated sequences tell the fascinating story behind the Decoy town on Black Down during World War II.

Discovering Black Down - Burrington Camp

Burrington Camp is a multiphase hill-slope enclosure of late prehistoric date.

Discovering Black Down - Avaline's Hole Factsheet

Discover how the earliest scientifically dated cemetery in Britain, 10,200 and 10,400 years old, was found at Aveline's Hole

Foundations of Mendip (British Geological Survey) - Industrial Archaeology

The remains of mine workings can be seen across much of central and western Mendip, especially around Shipham, Charterhouse, Priddy and Stockhill Forest. Iron, lead, zinc and ochre have all been mined at various times and places across Mendip. The old mine workings are often characterised by areas of 'gruffy' ground, a local name for uneven hummocky landscape created during mining operations. On eastern Mendip, coal mining was more important.

Foundations of Mendip (British Geological Survey) - Minerals and Mines

Discover the long history of mining on the Mendip Hills stretching back over 2000 years to Iron Age times.

Mendip Society Slader's Leigh

This meadow is a narrow strip of land, part of a much larger Slader's Leigh, which was left when the Cheddar Valley Railway Line was constructed in 1869. Because of its awkward shape the field has never been ploughed or farmed intensively. It is now one of the few remaining pieces of unimproved neutral/acid grassland sites in the Vale of Winscombe.

Somerset Earth Science Centre

Field study centre, providing a range of learning experiences for schools and students of all ages, through classroom activities and practical fieldwork in working and non-operational quarry sites.

Discovering Black Down Geology Fact Sheet

A guide to the geology of Black Down, the highest hill on the Mendips at 325m above sea level.

Bristol Water – Chew Valley Nature Trails

Two trails exploring the many habitats available around the margins of Chew Valley Lake giving visitors an opportunity to see and enjoy the many wild flowers, insects, animals and the beautiful views.