Luton is located in a break in the Eastern part of the Chiltern Hills. The Chilterns are a mixture of chalk from the Cretaceous period (about 65-146 million years ago) and deposits laid at the southernmost points of the ice sheet during the last ice age (the Warden Hills area can be seen from much of the town).
Bedfordshire had a reputation for brick making but the industry is now significantly reduced. The brickworks at Stopsley took advantage of the clay deposits in the east of the town.
The source of the River Lea, part of the Thames Valley drainage basin, is in the Leagrave area of the town. The Great Bramingham Wood surrounds this area. It is classified as ancient woodland; records mention the wood at least 400 years ago.
There are few routes through the hilly area for some miles, this has led to several major roads (including the M1 and the A6) and a major rail-link being constructed through the town.
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