Landforms

Landscapes and landforms are natural features of the scenery and they usually reflect elements of the underlying geology, changes in the elevation of the Earth's land or sea surface and the action of ice, rain, wind and living organisms. The weathering of the land surface often takes place over very long time periods and under a variety of different climatic regimes. In southern Britain, which has not been subject to major erosion by valley glaciers, the main causes of landscape change have been the downslope movement of surface material under freeze-thaw conditions that prevailed during periglacial times, and the erosive effects of flowing water. In Bedfordshire, streams and rivers exist at a variety of scales; they shift laterally and vertically, they transport sediment and, most importantly, their characteristics change over time.


A recent collaborative study has used a map-based approach to illustrate the landforms of Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. It provides some broad conclusions about the age and origins of some of the familiar features in the area and provides a useful basis for further research.


The Mapping of Landscapes, Geology and Soils of Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire