The Black Country has been awarded UNESCO Global Geopark status. It has been recognised as an area of outstanding geological heritage due to its cultural heritage and the partnerships committed to conserving, managing and promoting it.

It includes sites in Dudley, Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Walsall and becomes the UK’s eighth UNESCO Geopark.

The Geopark is in the heart of England with geology spanning 428 million years that is well known for its exceptionally well-preserved fossils.  The Black Country is also rich in coal, ironstone and limestone, resources which inspired discovery, invention and innovation and placed the region at the centre of the Industrial Revolution. The role the region played in the Industrial Revolution was at the heart of the bid for status which was backed by partners including Natural England, the Canal and River Trust and the Wildlife Trust For Birmingham and the Black Country.

The Geopark boasts a range of more than 40 varied geosites including landscapes and viewpoints, disused mines and quarries, canals, national and local nature reserves, museums with spectacular collections, open air visitor attractions and many historic buildings. Some of the geosites include Dudley and Wolverhampton Museums, Wren’s Nest National Nature Reserve, Sandwell Valley, Red House Glass Cone, Bantock Park and Walsall Arboretum.

Dudley Castle in new Geopark