A new book published in aid of a North-East wildlife trust promises to help uncover a hidden world of history – by shining the spotlight on special rock formations.

‘Durham Rocks’ is the latest work by Northumberland author Ian Jackson, who has spent nearly 20 years studying and sharing his love of the region’s geology.

Ian hopes his latest in a series of books will open readers’ eyes to secrets of not only the region’s landscape, but also its wildlife, history, economy, art, and society – and become a valued companion for walks and visits across the area.

Not only does the book promise to take readers on a journey across 450 million years of the hidden history, a portion of the proceeds from sales will support Durham Wildlife Trust’s efforts to protect the landscape Ian is so passionate about.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

“I wanted to produce a book that helped answer people’s deceptively simple questions about the landscapes I have come to know so well,” explained Ian.

The book, featuring 100 colour photographs, is based on a personal selection of 50 special rocky places – from Tyne to Tees – that are accessible to visitors.

“If the book encourages people to explore the landscape and understand how it was formed, and why rocks are relevant to their daily lives, then that would be brilliant,” he added.

Jim Cokill, Director of Durham Wildlife Trust, said: “We are incredibly fortunate to have an amazing diversity of wildlife in the region that Durham Wildlife Trust protects. Our landscapes range from high Pennine hills and valleys with their unique flora, to rugged coastal cliffs and limestone grasslands of international importance; all depend on the rocks beneath them.

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“This book will surely help you appreciate the relevance of those rocks to our environment today and to its conservation in the future.”

The book is a partnership production between Durham Wildlife Trust and Northern Heritage Services, and features sites in County Durham, Darlington, Gateshead, Hartlepool, South Tyneside, Stockton-on-Tees, and Sunderland.

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It also includes parts of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a UNESCO Global GeoPark, and the Durham Heritage Coast.

BBC presenter and geologist Iain Stewart is already a fan. He said: “This book does something I’m passionate about, it makes good science attractive, accessible and relevant to everyone.

“For its size, Durham packs a huge geological punch, its rocks are world class and world famous. The book not only takes you to see those rocks that make up its dramatic coastline and the magnificent Pennine hills and valleys, it explains how they came to be.”

  • Durham Rocks costs £12 and is available online at www.durhamwt.com/shop or from the Durham Wildlife Trust visitor centres at Low Barns and Rainton Meadows nature reserves, as well as local bookshops.