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Fossil plant

The rocks, minerals and fossils we find all around us help us to understand the geological history of the Earth from its origins around 4,600 million years ago, and the processes involved in forming and shaping the earth's crust. In particular, our collections provide evidence for how the Wales we know today has evolved over 700 million years. These specimens record how Wales has drifted from the southern hemisphere to its present-day setting 52° north of the equator.

Arrow pointing right
Read more stories about our Natural History collections on our Rhagor website.

Understanding this evolution and the processes behind it is essential if we are to manage the Earth's environment at the same time as exploiting its resources.

We hold extensive collections and particular expertise in:

Basalt under a microscope

In addition, the Department has:

Fieldwork, Aberystwyth

The collections are an invaluable resource. We encourage you to appreciate this resource by viewing it, researching it and, most importantly, by adding to it.

Go out and look at the landscape: it reflects 700 million years of history! Our staff are here to help you appreciate and understand it.

AND FINALLY - come and take the opportunity to see our acclaimed exhibition The Evolution of Wales, a fabulous journey through time and space as you follow Wales across the planet from its origins millions of years ago. The story is brought to life by film, sound, light and spectacular specimens.