The high point at 636 m (2,087 ft) is Kinder Scout, in the Peak District of the southern Pennines in northwest Derbyshire near Glossop. Other upland, hilly areas of 95 to 280 m (312 to 919 ft) in altitude, together with lakes and reservoirs, rise in and around the Charnwood Forest north of Leicester, and in the Lincolnshire Wolds.
The region's major rivers, the Nene, the Soar, the Trent and the Welland, flow in a northeasterly direction towards the Humber and the Wash. The Derwent, conversely, rises in the High Peak before flowing south to join the Trent some 2 miles (3 km) before its conflux with the Soar.
Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, next to the Trent, and Waitrose, in Newark-on-Trent
The centre of the East Midlands area lies roughly between Bingham, Nottinghamshire and Bottesford, Leicestershire. The geographical centre of England lies in Higham on the Hill in west Leicestershire, close to the boundary between the Leicestershire and Warwickshire. Some 88 per cent of the land is rural in character, although agriculture accounts for less than three per cent of the region's jobs.
Lincolnshire is the only maritime county of the six, with a true North Sea coastline of about 30 miles (48 km) due to the protection afforded by Spurn Head and the North Norfolk foreshore. Church Flatts Farm in Coton in the Elms, South Derbyshire, is the furthest place from the sea in the UK (70 miles, 110 km). In April 1936 the first Ordnance Survey trig point was sited at Cold Ashby in Northamptonshire.
The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts and The Wildlife Trusts are based next to the River Trent and Newark Castle railway station. The National Centre for Earth Observation is at the University of Leicester.
The region is home to large quantities of limestone, and the East Midlands Oil Province. Charnwood Forest is noted for its abundant levels of volcanic rock, estimated to be approximately 600 million years old.
A quarter of the UK's cement is manufactured in the region, at three sites in Hope and Tunstead in Derbyshire, and Ketton Cement Works in Rutland. Of the aggregates produced in the region, 25 per cent are from Derbyshire and four per cent from Leicestershire. Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire each produce around 30 per cent of the region's sand and gravel output.
Barwell in Leicestershire was the site of Britain's largest meteorite (7 kg, 15 lb) on 24 December 1965. The 2008 Lincolnshire earthquake was 5.2 in magnitude.
Areas of the East Midlands designated by the East Midlands Biodiversity Partnership as Biodiversity Conservation Areas include:
Areas of the East Midlands designated by the East Midlands Biodiversity Partnership as
Biodiversity Enhancement Areas include:
Two of the nationally designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are:
Several towns in the southern part of the region, including Market Harborough, Desborough, Rothwell, Corby, Kettering, Thrapston, Oundle and Stamford, lie within the boundaries of what was once Rockingham Forest – designated a royal forest by William the Conqueror and was long hunted by English kings and queens.
The National Forest is an environmental project in central England run by The National Forest Company. Areas of north Leicestershire, south Derbyshire and south-east Staffordshire covering around 200 square miles (520 km2; 52,000 ha) are being planted in an attempt to blend ancient woodland with new plantings. It stretches from the western outskirts of Leicester in the east to Burton upon Trent in the west, and is planned to link the ancient forests of Needwood and Charnwood.
Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire attracts many visitors, and is perhaps best known for its ties with the legend of Robin Hood.