During 2015 and 2016, Earth Heritage Trust has been undertaking geological site maintenance at various sites in the Malvern Hills area. This important work is being supported by Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (MHAONB) and Malvern Hills Conservators (MHC). The work is being funded for the next four years.
Work has recently been completed at Whitman’s Hill Coppice, Knight’s Quarry, Earnslaw Quarry, Suckley 3 Quarry, Park Wood Quarry and Wyche (South) Quarry. The work is being managed by EHT’s Vice President John Payne and a team of about 20 volunteers. A more detailed report about the work can be found in the latest EHT Newsletter.
Knight's Quarry - Before and After.
An impressive new GeoGarden has recently been completed on the St John’s campus of the University of Worcester.
The GeoGarden contains rocks representing 700 million years of Earth History. These rocks, all locally sourced, tell a fascinating story of continental collisions, shallow tropical seas, coastal lagoons and swamps, hot deserts, vast ice sheets and polar deserts.
The project is the result of a collaboration between Earth Heritage Trust and the University of Worcester. It has been funded by the University of Worcester and The Curry Fund.
An information leaflet can be downloaded here.
GeoFest is the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark’s annual three month long celebration of the Geopark’s geology, landscape and associated heritage. Events are hosted and run by the members of the Geopark Forum. A programme can be downloaded here.
Please visit www.geopark.org.uk for further details.
The Trust is excited to announce the launch of the project Voyages in Deep Time following the award of support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Bransford Trust, in addition to a number of other organisations and individuals.
The project will produce apps to support the teaching of geology in schools and colleges in addition to informing a wider audience. The educational content will be produced with support of a number of geology teachers and their students. An associated web site will work in conjunction with the apps and provide resources to support artistic interpretations of deep time environments, through to the data to build ancient lifeforms and landforms using 3D printers.
For geology the project will focus on four main sites; in Worcestershire the Lickey/Clents Hills and Martley, in Herefordshire the Wye gorge and the Red and Black Darren area of the Black Mountains.
The project will develop 3 categories of app. The ‘Explorer’ will use the phone/tablet as a data recording device for field work. Information about the site to be explored is downloaded to the app from the Deep Time website, making it extendable to any location. The ‘Voyager’ will be built around a game/competitive theme, solving real problems in the context of ancient environments. The ‘PastBeneathMe’ will provide information on the rocks, soil, plus any archaeological or industrial history of the place beneath the user (limited to Herefordshire and Worcestershire). The data for this will be delivered, as far as possible live, from open source datasets, provided by the recently launched ESSP (Environmental Science to Services Partnership) involving BGS, OS, MetOffice, Environment Agency and others.
Each of the 17 sections of the Geopark Way now has a dedicated app available for smart-phones and tablets.
Each app has a map of the relevant section overlain on an interactive geology map. Using GPS you get your position and a feed of data about the geology and other information as you walk. ‘Other information’ includes photos of the walk with directional guidance, 3D cross-sections, and interpretations of past environments.
Rock information for current location or where map has been touched
For Android devices you can install them on your phone/tablet from the Google Play store. For Apple devices install them from the Apple App Store. To quickly locate them, just enter ‘geopark’ into the Search facility. The apps for 3 of the sections are free, the rest have a charge of around £1. All money raised will be gifted to the Trust, so even if you don’t own a suitable type of phone, please encourage others who have to install them! And also give feedback (hopefully positive) to produce a high star rating – especially important to encourage people to install them when they are paid for.
Reconstructions of past environments and geological cross-sections
Interpretation of an ancient environment
Cafe H2O is part of the new Malvern Hills GeoCentre, serving refreshments to staff of the Wyche Innovation Centre as well as members of the public visiting the GeoCentre.
Open Mon to Fri, 09:30 to 16:30, but closed to the general public on Wednesdays. Operated by Team Jamboree.
Open Sat, Sun and Bank Holiday Mondays 09:00-18:00. Operated by Joanne and her team.
At the iPad stands
Serving Teapigs tea, coffee, hot chocolate, Clive’s Fruit Farm fruit juice, Holywell Spring Water, filled rolls, toast, soup, jacket potatoes, salads, snacks, cakes and Bennett’s Farm ice cream.
Cafe H2O is an ideal place for an informal business or social meeting, with free wi-fi and access to the Centre’s business facilities. The Cafe can also provide catering for on-site business meetings in the Boardroom, symposia and training workshops in the Seminar Room on Wednesdays, and on a pre-order basis for breakfast and evening business meetings at the Centre.
HWERT publications are available and the Geopark Way apps can be downloaded using the free WiFi. A video wall shows a rolling display of images taken along the Geopark Way from Bridgnorth to Gloucester Cathedral.
Video wall in Café H2O showing images from the Geopark Way
The Geocentre bustled with people keen to learn about Geology
Chris Darmon the President of the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark launched GeoFest 2013 at the Malvern Hills GeoCentre on 1st June. Well over 250 people attended this as part of the grand opening of the GeoCentre and the Geopark Way Visitor Centre. The GeoCentre is the brainchild of Emma Philpott and Adrian Burden and houses large panels with information about the Geopark and the Geopark Way, together with interactive iPads. There is also a big video screen displaying geology, wildlife and culture of the Malvern Hills. Visitors can purchase the Geopark Way trail guidebook and associated geological map as well as other geology and landscape trail guidebooks and many things geological.
The official opening of the Geocentre
As he opened the Centre, Chris remarked on its excellent position half way along the Geopark Way and that it is surrounded by fantastic geology.. He praised the ambition of Emma and Adrian of KeyIQ, of the Earth Heritage Trust and the Geopark partners and he thanked the AONB for grant aid. This is a facility with a great future. Last but by no means least, he mentioned the integral cafe as an important attraction (great cakes) to all the walkers passing by.
Enjoying the facilities
The nature and history of the rocks below our feet not only shapes the distinct regional landscape we see around us but also influences what can grow, where settlements are established and what we build. From cottages to castles and from bridges to barns the stone built heritage of the region has, through the ages, represented an important link between the largely hidden world beneath our feet and our everyday lives.
However much of the awareness and knowledge of our stone built heritage has been forgotten or lost over time. This places many buildings, central to the particular character of our towns and villages, at risk. We want to delve into the history and stories surrounding our stone-built heritage, reuniting important – though not necessarily grand – stone structures with the lost quarries from which the material was won and reasserting the importance of such buildings in our local heritage.
Significant funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund means that the project is now underway and we are looking for people to become involved in uncovering and telling this story and recording it for the future.
We want to train volunteers to understand stone and record its uses in buildings, to search records, to uncover the stories of local people who worked with stone and to discover our lost quarries. If you are interested and wish to find out more about the project please contact us by email or phone or find us on twitter.
If you have already expressed an interest in being part of the project or being kept informed of progress, we will be writing to you very shortly.
The three trail routes were devised to incorporate a section of the Geopark Way long distance walking trail, with each trail visiting former aggregate site/s that are located off the main trail.
Each trail leaflet gives clear trail directions together with a geological interpretation of the landscape and outcrops found along the route. Emphasis has been placed on those sites were extraction of aggregate material has taken place. The trails were funded through the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund … → Read More
With geology once again being centre of the news, here are a few handy links to keep you well informed of the latest developments on the Eyjafjallajokull volcano!
For the latest news from Iceland, check out the Iceland Meteorological Office.
The Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre based at the Met Office, is keeping track of the path of the ash cloud.
The British Geological Survey have provided some useful information on the volcano.
For the latest travel and media reaction, check out the BBC News website.
Finally, for those of you worried about any health implications the Health Protection Agency will provide you with all the latest information.
But most of all, enjoy this unique opportunity to see the wonder of nature in action and the wonderful sunsets and sunrises it may bring!!
New research at the University of Leicester has discovered exceptionally well preserved fossil from the Silurian in Herefordshire. To read more about the discovery, visit the BBC Hereford and Worcester Website.
For more information about the local geology in Herefordshire, visit Our Earth Heritage section.
The Trust has developed a strategic framework document to help focus our work over the next three years. A summary of the document is available here. If you have any questions or comments, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view the document, you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, available for download here.