Meldon Area Case Studies
This rich resource offers undergraduates and A-level students a fascinating insight into Meldon's past and a glimpse of its importance to wildlife.
Each case study opens a set of pages with detailed maps, tables and text.
The Meldon area is situated on the north-west corner of Dartmoor granite massif, south-west of the town of Okehampton and is one of the most important geological locations in the UK. It demonstrates the effects of contact metamorphism and mineralisation associated with the intrusion of a major granitic body, but is also famous for its structural geological features, including the well-known ‘Meldon Anticline’ - a southwards inclined antiform dating from the late Carboniferous Variscan Orogeny. A range of other geological and geomorphological features are also well developed.
The Meldon district, on the north-west corner of Dartmoor, shows a remarkable transition from the lowland habitats of the well-known Culm measures of mid Devon, up to the highest part of one of the largest expanses of upland moorland in southern Britain. The cool temperatures and high rainfall means that blanket bogs are an important feature of the moor and home to many unusual and rare species.
Rocky tors, rushing streams, lakes and ponds, ancient woodlands and disused and active quarries combine to provide a wide range of habitats and geological features. Not surprisingly, therefore, the wider area includes three Sites of Special Scientific Interest, a European Special Area of Conservation and several areas of likely county importance for nature conservation, all of which are testament to its importance for wildlife and geological heritage.
The wide variety of Meldon's industrial remains is, perhaps, unequalled anywhere else within the Dartmoor National Park. This is largely due to a uniquely varied geology which outcrops in a relatively small area, presenting opportunities for a wide range of economical activities, some more successful than others.