Sheffield is positioned on top of one of the largest coalfields in the United Kingdom. Coal is an integral part of our past, explaining what the UK environment used to be like, but has also provided us with power, and economic stability, and growth for centuries.
South Yorkshire coalfields are part of the Pennine Anticline, a geological formation of a ridge or fold of stratified rock in which the strata slope downwards from the middle crest. With South Yorkshire on the East, and Lancashire on the West, coal and Millstone Grit have eroded away to allow outcrops of limestone throughout the Peak District. Coal and Millstone Grit deposits still remain on the sides of the Pennine Anticline. This has allowed coal mining and their communities to spread prolifically throughout Lancashire and South Yorkshire.
To consider what the environment of Sheffield entailed 300 million years ago requires looking for hints within our geology to find the evidence of the past. Geological evidence can tell us about past environments, temperatures, animals, plants, ecological anomalies, extinctions and natural disasters, all of which can lead us towards what a future of Sheffields’ geological deposits could be like.