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History

(1) The WOLDS country - one area in the north and one in the south. Geologically, these areas have much younger rocks then the FOREST but the settlements are much older. These were the most highly populated areas of the Borough until the 18th century but today are almost entirely agricultural, being little touched by industry. The gentle slope of the Wolds land rises eastward from the SOAR VALLEY to a flat area around SIX HILLS. THere area also small deeply cut valleys where streams have cut through clay to reach the more resilient rocks beneath. The relief of the WOLDS has an overall south-west/north-east trend, largely following the drainage pattern of the land.

(2) Part of CHARNWOOD FOREST. This is the area with the oldest rocks and the poorest soils. Settlements here were established relatively late but the area is important for it's physical resources and amenity value.

(3) The SOAR/WREAKE VALLEY. This forms a "corridor" through the Borough and has been important for movement and transport since at least Saxon times. This has greatly influenced the pattern of development here, most of which has grown up along the river and, later, along the canals and railways. The valley runs south east/north west to eventually join the Trent Valley. It has a flat flood plain about 1.5 miles wide and flooding has been a problem in this area for centuries. Although much improved, it has not been completely conquered even today.

(4) The urban area of BIRSTALL and THURCASTON. Growth here has always been tied in closely with that of LEICESTER. Their geographical proximity has led to a much closer identification with the County Town to the south rather than north to the rest of the Borough.