(145 to 65 million years ago)
No rocks of this age are known to be preserved within Fforest Fawr Geopark. During the Cretaceous it is thought that parts of the area lay below sea level and that chalk may have been deposited across all but the highest peaks. Any trace of the chalk has however long since been removed by erosion. The ‘Chalk Sea’ extended across much of northern Europe – its former presence is betrayed by the chalklands which give the south and east of England and the near continent their character.
It was during this period that the modern Atlantic Ocean began to open up far to the west as first North America and then Greenland split from northern Europe.
What’s in a name?
The name of the period comes from the Latin word ‘creta’ which means ‘chalk’ – the characteristic rock of this period in England and much of Europe.