From 2002 to 2011 the Trust has produced a number of informative documents and easy to follow trail guides, all supported through the ALSF scheme.
Explore Abberley Hill
Trust’s Explore series of trail guides now has 26 publications. These attractive laminated guides have been given sparkling reviews by their peers and have been well received by the public. They look at building stones, landscape and geology of locations across Herefordshire & Worcestershire. Written in a friendly manner, they can be understood by anyone with an interest in geology.
The Abberley Hills provide some wonderful scenery and viewpoints of north-west Worcestershire. The trail guide describes the landscape and explains its origins, taking you on a walking trail largely along the Worcestershire Way, which passes many former aggregates quarries.
Abberley Hills Discovery Guide
The Abberley Hills Discovery Guide is a 22-page booklet that describes the geology and landscape of this scenic area. The Hills are characterised by wooded hills, bordering the flat Worcestershire plain, extending north from Knightwick where the River Teme breaks the line of hills, to the north-easterly curving hills of Abberley, Great Witley, Martley, Berrow Green and Knightwick.
The guide contains general information about the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark, as well as information on accommodation & food, local tourist attractions and public transportation in the area.
Walks for Health trails
The Trust has developed a new series of geological trails that Walking the Way to Health groups (established groups of people who are walking regularly to improve their health), can use as part of their programmes. Four self-guiding trails have been established in Bridgnorth, Alveley, Stourport and Ledbury, along sections of the Geopark Way.
The guides themselves are freely available from Doctors surgeries, health centres and Tourist Information Centres in the four towns. Copies of the guides can be downloaded from here. More information about the Walking the Way to Health Initiative can be found on their website at www.whi.org.uk.
Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark quarry trails
In conjunction with Gloucestershire Geology Trust, a series of six trails around quarries in the Geopark were researched and published in 2008:
Southstone Rock, Worcestershire
The River Teme winds its way through Herefordshire and Worcestershire. The Teme valley is notable, especially in the Shelsleys area, for the locally abundant deposits of tufa and travertine. These calcium rich deposits formed, and in some cases are still forming, as spring waters are discharged through the underlying limestones. Travertine is the harder form of the calcium carbonate deposit known as tufa and was used locally for building stones. A prime example is the church of St Andrew in Shelsley Walsh but there are many other examples of local buildings where tufa and travertine were utilised for building stone or decorative features.
Southstone Rock is one of the largest mounds of travertine in the locality and probably formed in part some six to seven thousand years ago. It is of interest both geologically and archaeologically. A small cottage was once situated on top of Southstone Rock. It was also thought to be the site of a chapel and a hermitage, although any traces of these are long gone.
Linton Quarry, Herefordshire
Linton Quarry is a former aggregates and building stone quarry, one of several disused workings in the area around Gorsley. Linton Quarry is unique because it contains the best documented sequence of Silurian rocks in the area. For this reason, it has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Local Geological Site.
The rocks exposed in the faces of the former quarry are from the Wenlock, Ludlow and Pridoli divisions of the Silurian, and represent a change from marine to continental conditions. The limestones and shales of the Wenlock and Ludlow series were deposited in a quiet marine shelf environment. These were replaced by sandstones from the Pridoli Series that were deposited under much more stormy beach or foreshore conditions as sea level began to fall.
The self guiding trail around Linton Quarry takes the reader on a journey through time, highlighting some of the important features seen in the rocks.
The Wyre Forest Coalfield covers an area of about 50 square kilometres. The area around Highly was an important part of this significant resource. Extraction of the various rock types within the coalfield has occurred since medieval times, thus contributing to the economy and character of the area.
Highley Colliery was established in 1878 and remained productive until its closure in 1969. The coal seam worked by the miners was located at a depth of about 270 m and was only 1.2 m thick. Peak production from this seam reached 150,000 tonnes per year.
The short trail at Highly describes the formation of coal and explores the stratigraphy of the coalfields and the history of mining and its effect on the local community.
Huntley Quarry, Gloucestershire
Huntley Quarry contains some of the oldest rocks in Gloucestershire, including the only known exposure of the Huntley Quarry Beds. The age of the quarry is unknown, but was certainly in use in the 1830’s when Robert Murchison, the famous geologist who established the Silurian system, was working in the May Hill area.
The Huntley Quarry Beds are sediments containing abundant volcanic material, the age of which is unknown. The layers of sandstone and siltstone have been considerably deformed by folding, thrusting and faulting due to the close proximity of the Blaisdon Fault. The self-guiding trail around the quarry reveals the complicated structures and attempts to unravel the tectonic and geological history of the site.
Huntley Quarry is now owned and managed by Gloucestershire Geology Trust as a Geological Reserve. More information about the site can be found on their website.
Tank Quarry, Malvern Hills
Tank Quarry is one of the largest and most prominent hard rock quarries on the Malvern Hills. The quarry contains exposures of igneous rocks from the Precambrian that are approximately 700 million years old. This makes them the oldest in Worcestershire, and amongst the oldest in the UK.
Extraction took place at Tank Quarry from 1870-1970, with the tough, hard igneous rocks being used as a source of raw materials from building stone and road aggregate. The rocks quarried are diorite and granite belonging to the Malverns Complex. The origin of these rock types tells a long and fascinating story about the position and shape of the continents during the Precambrian. The short trail around the quarry explores this story by examining the different types of rock to be found within the quarry and in outcrops on surrounding slopes.
Hobbs Quarry, Gloucestershire
Hobbs Quarry is a unique site containing rare exposures of a fossilised reef. For this reason, the site has been designated a Geological Site of Special Scientific Interest, and a Local Geological Site. The quarry is also a nature reserve owned by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.
The exposures in the quarry are of Wenlock limestone that formed in a warm, shallow sea during the Silurian Period. Today, the limestones contain abundant fossils of the animals and corals that formed the living reef. The trail through the quarry explores the different types of limestone and the conditions under which they were formed, along with the industrial uses of the limestones.
Herefordshire & Worcestershire Geodiversity Action Plans
Since 2006, the Trust has received funding to develop and publish Geodiversity Action Plans (GAPs) for both counties. This development has been in three phases: public consultation, geodiversity audits, and finalising and publishing the GAP documents themselves. Further information can be found here.