• Local GAPs

Slide Show

November / December 2018 news and update

1. Voyages in deepTime Project

After a very busy last month the Voyages in Deep Time project has almost finished.  We are just finalising the last little bits and bringing together all the comments feedback we have had throughout the project.

Once it is finished we will have produced the deepTime Voyager app, with 8 voyages.  These will be Martley, Lickey Ridge, Lickey Hills, Wye Valley, Cat’s Back, Malvern, Bredon Hill and Wren’s Nest along with a “Getting Started Guide” explaining how to use the app.  The production of these voyages wouldn’t have been possible without the time, energy and expertise of lots of wonderful volunteers, who wrote and tested the various routes and final voyages.

The deepTime GeoExplore app is almost finished, after some last minute changes following feedback.  This will have 4 exercises at Martley, Lickey Hills, Olchon Valley and Wye Valley and the field recording tools will work anywhere in the world.

Over the last 8 months the Deep Time project trained 24 volunteers to use the deepTime Voyager app at 9 training sessions held at each of the Voyage locations.  We worked with 305 pupils from 2 schools and a Herefordshire home educators group as well as 325 young people attending Malvern Festival of Innovation and Science Night at the Hive.  We attended 3 special interest conferences and demonstrated the apps to 230 delegates.  We lead 7 guided walks and attended 8 public events.

In total we worked with nearly 1500 young people and 600 adults at 18 events and we haven’t finished yet.  We are still meeting people and have another school interested in running a trip next year as well as running an event with RockWatch and the Lickey Hills Champions.

All this work wouldn’t have been possible without lots of help.  It was made possible with the help of volunteers.  People gave their time and skills to do all sorts of different things including:

  • Learning how to use touchscreens and apps for the first time
  • Tested an app on Cat’s Back in some very strong wind
  • Spent a day walking around Martley with many school pupils when it was over 30˚C
  • Stood talking to lots of people at all the events we did
  • Wrote Voyages for Bredon Hill, Malvern and Wren’s Nest
  • Wrote GeoExplore exercises for Olchon Valley, Martley and Lickey Hills
  • Acted as back markers on walks
  • Answered questions when working with schools
  • Patiently proof read the app, the “Getting Started Guide” and all the articles we produced
  • Designed an interpretation board for the Lickey Hills
  • Promoted the app to lots of people, at events and to friends, often prompting them to get in touch and get involved with the project

On behalf of all of the Deep Time project staff, I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone for all of your help, time and support. However you were involved, it really does make a huge difference to what we can achieve, how many people we can work with and to the end product, helping us to produce something we are really proud of.

I hope to work with everyone again on other EHT projects in the future.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy 2019.

Beth Andrews.

2. Public Lecture on Tsunamis: A little knowledge is dangerous – Thursday 6th December

Professor James Goff, Honorary Professor of Tsunami Research, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia [and Worcester Geography graduate!!]

The modern era of tsunami research started in the late 1980s. Significant progress has been made since then, to the extent that many researchers now believe their work is done. Sadly, such a sentiment is far from the truth. One of the most significant misconceptions is that we can now model tsunamis and so predict how bad waves will be once they reach land. This is really where the problems start – the theory and the reality rarely converge. Events that are bigger than expected continue to happen, such as Japan in 2011 and Indonesia in 2004 and 2018.

This talk looks at some of the realities of what causes tsunamis and why we do not know as much as we think we do. It also argues that if only we opened our eyes a little bit, we would realise that much of what we do not know is in fact staring us in the face – and has been for years. Examples are mainly drawn from the Southern Hemisphere. By the end of the talk, you may be glad that you do not live around the Pacific Ocean!

Lecture: date and venue:

Thursday 6 December 2018

6.15 – 7.15 pm

EE G087 (Urwin Lecture Theatre)

University of Worcester,

St John’s Campus,

Henwick Grove

Worcester

WR2 6AJ

 

3. Earth Learning Ideas

John Nicklin of TVGS has spotted a fascinating website, packed with ideas for demonstrating a wide range of geology ideas and concepts. Among the authors is Chris King, who has been a leading figure in geological education for many years, so we can be sure that the content is authoritative and reliable.

Some ideas are messier than others. For example, one of them involves breaking bunches of spaghetti to illustrate the relation between actual energy release by an earthquake to its position on the Richter scale. Another involves blowing into cups of various liquids (including golden syrup?) to simulate the difference between explosive and free-flowing volcanic eruptions!

A number of them aim to help understanding the enormous scale in time and space that geology covers. A simple one involves marking the zones of the interior of the earth from crust to centre on a toilet roll: if the first sheet represents the crust, how much toilet roll do you need to unravel to get to the centre?

Some are very quick and easy to set up and do, while others would take more time and effort.

Here is the link to the index of learning ideas: https://www.earthlearningidea.com/English/contents_alphabet.html

Definitely worth a look – thanks John!

 

4. The Sad Story of Madeley Heath Pits

Quaternary deposits are sometimes thought of as boring: ‘not proper rock’, but in fact they can tell us much about what was happening in our area during recent glacials and interglacials, and about how our landscape has evolved, especially when structures such as ancient river channels can be inspected. A case in point is Madeley Heath Pits, located in the Clent Hills in N Worcestershire which was designated as an SSSI in 1991 for its geology. At this site, a deep channel had been cut in the Triassic bedrock and later filled with gravel, lacustrine silts and glacial till. This was an important site, because although a number of such channels have been detected under the surface in and around Birmingham, this is thought to be the only one to have been exposed at the surface. As the SSSI designation states: “it is clear that it is of considerable significance for the reconstruction of Pleistocene paleogeography in the Midlands.”

But sadly, Quaternary geology is also very vulnerable; it is easily destroyed and much in demand for supplies of sand and gravel. Madeley Heath Pits was no exception, and before the EHT had been established and started to monitor sites of geological interest, the site was almost completely destroyed by gravel extraction and subsequent back-fill, without geologists having the opportunity to investigate and document the site in detail, or take samples.

The site has recently come to our attention because another company is now seeking permission for further extraction at an adjacent site. Permission was initially refused until a geological assessment had shown that further damage would be avoided and conditions placed on the contractor to expose what remains of the geological feature and maintain it for future study. This sounds superficially attractive, however the well-respected Quaternary geologist who conducted the assessment advised that such an exposure would be of limited value and impractical to maintain, since Quaternary deposits are almost impossible to preserve.

We are now working with Natural England, recommending that the fragile remains of the Quaternary site be left undisturbed, avoiding the damage that an exposure of marginal value would create. This leaves open the opportunity for future research should funding become available. Instead, we have requested access to the site during its extraction phase, so that we can discover more about the Triassic Mercia Mudstone as it becomes exposed.

Of course there is no guarantee that our request will be granted, but this story does underline the importance of monitoring what happens to our sites of interest and intervening when they are threatened by development. We may not be able to prevent development, but like the archaeologists, we can always press for opportunities to investigate and document the site during the development process and for support in publicising the geology of interest that is found there.

 

5. A new lease of life for Callow Hill Champions Site

In September, Alan Richardson gave news of on-going developments and discoveries at the Lickey Hills Champions sites.  The Lickey Hills Geo-Champions are an example of a Champions group which has been continuously busy and successful since the Group formed in 2011, but some sites have not fared so well. One of these is Callow Hill quarry in the Wyre Forest, where the original Champions were unable to keep going for various reasons.  The quarry had become neglected, but earlier this year thanks to the initiative of Peter Oliver, a new Champion was found to pick up the threads and take things forward at this wonderful site.

The new Champion is Tony Spall, and he has embraced his new role with great energy and enthusiasm.

Following an initial meeting at the quarry in April, Tony has made great progress.  In his own words:

“We have had two vegetation clearance events at Callow Hill, the first with those connected to geological groups and Forestry Commission staff on 19 May, and the second event on 3 October with Environment Agency and Forestry Commission Staff. John Payne kindly organized the work force from the Environment Agency, These 2 events have made quite a difference to the visual appearance of the Quarry site.

Moving forward, I would like to open up and level the quarry floor whilst improving access to the Quarry face but to do this would require machinery. My plan is to encourage management at the Forestry Commission to provide the necessary resources to carry out this work. I am planning also to research the history of the quarry and the use of the stone for building in the area”.

This is really encouraging news, and on behalf of the Champions and the EHT I would like to thank Tony for his efforts. You can read more about the quarry, view the panel and Champions leaflet, and see some photos on the Callow Hill Champions page here:

http://ehtchampions.org.uk/ch/worcestershire-sites/callow-hill-quarry/

Better still, go and have a look!  The site is very easy to find, not far from the Wyre Forest Discovery Centre.

Julie Schroder November 2018


6. Worcester Community Action – First Aid Course

Sally has been able to arrange another Emergency First Aid Course for Thursday 6th December at Warndon Community Centre, Shap Drive, Worcester. WR4 9NX from 9.30am – 4.30pm. Places are on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, as usual.

For a booking form or for further information etc. please email: worcestercommunityaction@gmail.com

If anyone has any questions or queries, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

All the best.

Sally Ellison, Worcester Community Action.

 

7. WGCG Winter Lecture Programme: 2018/2019

Meetings are held on Wednesdays (usually 3rd of the month) and start at 7.30 p.m. in St Francis Church Hall, 110 Warwick Road, Kenilworth, CV8 1HL unless otherwise stated. Tea / coffee and biscuits are available beforehand from 7.00 p.m.  Please check the WGCG website for any late, unforeseeable changes at http://www.wgcg.co.uk/talks/

2018:

  • 12th December: Christmas Social.

2019:

  • 16th January: ‘The Wren’s Nest’ – Graham Worton (Curator at Dudley Archive) (geology of this celebrated nature reserve in Dudley, and the application for Unesco Geopark status).
  • 20th February:  “Swimming Plesiosaurs and Flying Dinosaurs; Palaeontology at Wollaton Hall, Nottingham”- Dr. Adam Smith (including references to Chinese dinosaur discoveries).
  • 20th March: “Analysing the Skeleton of a King” – Prof. Jane Evans (BGS) (isotope studies on the remains of Richard III, and the light this throws on the diet and lifestyle of a medieval monarch).
  • 17th April: (provisionally) ‘The Geology of Norway’ – Chris Darmon (editor ‘Down to Earth’ magazine & proprietor of ‘Geosupplies’).

 

8. Teme Valley Geological Society (TVGS) Talks

Please find details of forthcoming TVGS evening talks held in Martley Memorial Hall (MMH). Talks commence at 7.30pm, fees are £3 for non-members and £1 for members.

  • Monday 21st January 2019

Prof. Ian Fairchild – The Ice Age in Worcestershire and prospective TVGS research on the origin of the Teme Valley.

  • Monday 11th February 2019

Nick Daffern – Palaeolithic Worcester.

For further information of the TVGS please visit www.geo-village.eu

 

9. Malvern U3A Geology Group

The Malvern U3A Geology Group meets on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at the Cube, Malvern, from 10.00 – 12.00 am. The entrance price: £2.00

12th December 2018

Permafrost- Dr. Richard Waller (Keele University)

9th January 2019

Plate Tectonic Mechanics and Processes – Dr Marco Maffione (Birmingham University)

13th February 2019

Rocks from Space – Dr Paul Olver

13th March 2019

What’s Underneath a Volcano? - Prof Kathy Cashman (Bristol University)

10th April 2019

Geology, Origin and Celebrity of Shap Granite - Dr Nigel Woodcock (Cambridge University)

 

10. Woolhope Club

The Woolhope Club Geology Section talks are held from 5.30 pm in the Councillors’ Meeting Room – Committee Room 1 at the Shire Hall, Hereford. Non-members welcome at a cost of £2.

For further information of the Woolhope Club please visit www.woolhopeclub.org.uk

 

11. Tiddesley Wood Open Day

The 2019 Tiddesley Wood Open Day will take place on Sunday 7th May next year. The EHT regularly have a stand at this event with children’s activities, rock specimens, selling merchandise and trail guides. If you would like to come and visit us and / or volunteer to help out on the day please let Allison know in the office. Many thanks.

 

12. Friends Gift Aid Forms

As a Friend of the EHT, if you have not already done so, please remember to return your gift aid form to the EHT Office at the address below. Your help is much appreciated.

 

13. Volunteering for the Earth Heritage Trust

If you have some spare time and would like to get involved with the EHT at future events for a couple of hours or half a day or so, please do let us know and we can add you to our list of volunteers to contact in the future.

If you would like to volunteer please contact Allison at the EHT office. Tel: 01905 855184 or email: eht@worc.ac.uk Many thanks.

From all at the EHT we would take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year

If you have anything you would like to include in our next monthly update please forward to eht@worc.ac.uk by 4th January 2019.

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust, Geological Records Centre,

University of Worcester, Henwick Grove, Worcester, WR2 6AJ.

Tel: 01905 855184, Email: eht@worc.ac.uk

 

 

March 2019 news and update

1. New Geopark Way Guide Book – on sale now!

After 10 successful years of The Geopark Way and its recognition by Ordnance Survey in 2018 as a permanent long distance walking route, we can now offer an attractive, new, updated and revised edition of the Geopark Way Guidebook, available directly from H&W EHT from the online shop at www.EarthHeritageTrust.org or by emailing eht@worc.ac.uk.

With all sections of the Geopark Way checked thoroughly for changes by vigilant walkers and the Geopark Way Wardens, the new guidebook is as accurate as it possibly can be. It describes the rocks, landscape and heritage along the route and addresses recent changes to geological naming, revised knowledge and alterations to the 109 mile route, divided into 17 sections, allowing walks of between 4.3 and 8.2 miles along roads, bridleways and public or permissive footpaths between Bridgnorth and Gloucester and taking in Worcestershire and Herefordshire and the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark. Each section has a sketch map, detailed directions and pictures of the exciting landmarks along the way.

Following the amazingly varied landscape, the guidebook encourages an understanding of the heritage and views through geology, using a colour key along the edge of each page and allowing all walkers to enjoy everything that The Geopark Way has to offer.

We are offering a reduced introductory price on all orders received before the end of April 2019 of £12 (plus p&p) for the new Geopark Way Guide Book which also includes a map of the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark. After April 2019, the Guide Book will be available at its full price of £15 (plus p&p). We will also sell the new Guide for £10 if you trade in your old version at a Trust event.

To get your copy, please contact eht@worc.ac.uk or visit www.EarthHeritageTrust.org.

 

2. New Information Boards at Deep Time Voyager Sites

Two lovely new information boards were installed in February at the starting point of two of the guided walking routes, or ‘voyages’ in our Deep Time apps.

Both boards are in Herefordshire. The first is at the woodland car park near Little Doward campsite and is part of the Wye Valley voyage.  The second is at Black Hill car park at the start of the Cat’s Back voyage.

At least a dozen people including several dog walkers and three family groups passed by with interest while the boards were being installed.  As well as telling the reader a little about the local rocks and landscape, the boards say that the reader can learn more by using the app, and gives the link to download the app on site.  This new publicity should raise awareness and use of the apps.

 

3. EHT Resources’ Training Days.

Two training days were held on 9th and 14th February at the EHT offices for a total of 16 members of the Teme Valley Geological Society and the Malvern U3A.   The topics covered included how to use the map and literature resources at our offices, how to access public available map resources and how to use targeted on-line map and air photo resources via the Earth Heritage Trust.  Participants finished the day by showing some PowerPoint slides illustrating some of the things that they had found out about an area of local geological interest and are now eligible to return to develop their research further via an EHT staff member.  There was plenty of enthusiastic feedback.

Some folk were unable to attend on the day and others of you (EHT members or members of EHT-affiliated groups) might also be interested in attending a future course.  Please express your interest in doing so to eht@worc.ac.uk

 

4. Herefordshire and Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust AGM 2019

The Annual General Meeting of the Earth Heritage Trust is going to be held at the Talbot at Knightwick, Worcestershire, on Saturday 8th June, 10.30 for 11.00 am start. The report of the year will be followed by a buffet lunch and a local field excursion.  All are welcome (however only members can vote).

 

5. Conserving Herefordshire’s Ice Age Ponds – volunteer group visit Moccas Park National Nature Reserve

Ian, Beth and Leominster U3A Geology Group braved torrential rain to visit the wonderful kettle hole ponds at Moccas Park National Nature Reserve.  We were rewarded for our perseverance with some wonderful rainbows and once the rain stopped members of the group had the chance to try augering.  We were also able to take some measurements and water samples to add to our Kettle Hole Pond database.”

 

6. Conserving Herefordshire’s Ice Age Ponds – Volunteer Training Days

Would you like to come along and learn about the fascinating world of Ice Age Ponds, their wildlife and geological origins and how we can help to keep them for future generations?

The new project “Conserving Herefordshire’s Ice Age Ponds”, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is running a 1 day training course for volunteers wishing to expand their knowledge about Ice Age Ponds. Working with geologists and ecologists from the project you will learn about how Ice Age Ponds were formed, why they are unique and how to record the geology and find and identify wildlife that can be found.

The training days will be run on:

  • Thursday 28th March – Credenhill Community Centre
  • Friday 29th March – Pembridge Village Hall
  • Sunday 14th April – Credenhill Community Centre
  • Saturday 11th May – Pembridge Village Hall

Morning – Indoor Session:

  • Introduction to the Ice Age in Herefordshire and the landforms it left behind
  • Introduction to Pond Ecology
  • Introduction to field survey techniques for Ecology and for Geology

Afternoon Session:

  • Practical demonstration and chance to have a go at doing Geological recording, substrate core samples using augers, GPS recording of water levels and water quality testing.
  • Practical demonstration of Ecological recording techniques, habitat mapping, dipping for invertebrates.

No previous experience of ecology or geology is necessary, full training in the use of GPS, water quality meters and pond survey techniques will be given.  The aim of the training is to provide volunteers with the skills necessary to complete pond surveys to collect data for the Ice Age Ponds project and help focus our more detailed investigations.

Training lasts from 10.00am – 4.00pm and all equipment, plus hot drinks and biscuits will be provided.  You will just need to bring suitable outdoor clothing and lunch.

These training sessions are all free but places are limited and booking is essential.  To book your place please email Project Manager David Hutton on d.hutton@herefordshirewt.co.uk


7. Articles for the EHT Annual Newsletter

I am looking for articles to represent EHT’s activity over the last year to put into our Annual Newsletter/Review for 2019.

If you can provide an article on any projects you have been a part of, to fill an A4 page or a double page spread, including a few illustrative photos/diagrams, please let me know as soon as possible; or if you feel you can offer a shorter article to go alongside another smaller one, please forward those too.

Please let me know if you are planning to submit an article so I can plan the pages, on email s.knox@worc.ac.uk

The deadline for receipt of articles is Monday 1st April 2019. Many thanks.

Sue Knox


8. Lickey Geo-Champions Clearance Session in the Rose Hill Quarries

Conservation work by the Lickey Geo-Champions continues to unearth evidence for the structural evolution of the Lickey Quartzite.  However, one particular pair of structures has proven to be highly elusive.  In The Geology of the Lickey Hills, Prof. W.S. Boulton made the following observation, “Other evidence of over thrusts in the Quartzite can be seen near the base of the large quarry on the north side of Rednal Gorge and about 900 yards south of Eachway Lane.  Two adjacent thrusts converging eastwards are here exposed, the upper inclined to the west at 18o and the lower at 25o.  Eastward they end rather abruptly against a vertical shatter belt in the quartzite.”

Previous clearance sessions have concentrated on the main Rose Hill quarry, but a LIDAR image of the area revealed two subsidiary excavations.  A preliminary reconnaissance in February identified a movement plane, with what appeared to be drag folding, consistent with the upper of Boulton’s two thrusts.

A clearance session was set up at short notice, and on the first Saturday in March, Ken Lewis, Dave Green and Alan Richardson met up with Lickey Hills Ranger Holly to remove vegetation, soil and rock from the site.

The group moved a considerable volume of rock and soil, as well clearing surface vegetation and tree roots.  The rock surfaces were brushed clean of algae and moss, and a conveniently located timber pole and a number of tree branches were employed in constructing a viewing platform.

The results were somewhat mixed in terms of providing the anticipated structural evidence.  With the vegetation and debris removed, the movement plane turned out to be significantly steeper than the 18o recorded by Boulton.  With respect to the drag folding, it had been hoped that more definitive evidence would be found in the form of a deformed clay layer – however, the new excavations did not unearth any such structure.

The excavation revealed a second fault plane at a lower level.  It is characterised by a fault breccia, consisting of fragments of Lickey Quartzite in a matrix of soft clay.  It proved impossible to expose more of this structure, owing to the proximity of a substantial root, the removal of which would have destabilised the Scots Pine to which it belonged. Boulton refers to observing two “at base of quarry”: it is possible that this excavation is above the section observed by him.  If so, there is no reasonable prospect of removing enough debris to expose the rocks recorded in his sketch.  Further expansion of the new excavation is prevented by the presence of substantial tree roots, however, an easily accessed exposure above and to the right provides scope for a further clearance session to expose the lower fault, and the rocks below it.

Alan Richardson 07.03.19

 

9. Countrytastic 2019 – Call for volunteers

The 2019 Countrytastic show at the Three Counties Showground will take place this year on Thursday 18th April 2019. If you would like to come and visit us and / or volunteer to help out on the day for an hour or two please let Allison know in the office. All help will be much appreciated. Many thanks.

 

10. Tiddesley Wood Open Day 2019 – Call for volunteers

The 2019 Tiddesley Wood Open Day will take place on Sunday 5th May 2019. The EHT have a stand at this annual event with children’s activities, rock specimens, selling merchandise and trail guides. If you would like to come and visit us and / or volunteer to help out on the day for an hour or two please let Allison know in the office. It would be great to see you there. Many thanks.

 

11. Digital Festival 2019 – Call for Volunteers

The EHT will have a Deep Time stand at the Digital Festival on Thursday 27th June 2019 at the Hive, displaying the Deep Time apps. If you would like to volunteer please let us know, you don’t need experience of using apps on iPads or smart phones, just a friendly and approachable manner. Thank you.

 

12. Science in the Park 2019 – Call for Volunteers

On Saturday 29th June 2019, EHT will have a stand at Science in the Park, located in Priory Park, Malvern. We will have rock specimens, children’s activities and selling merchandise and trail guides. If you would like to volunteer please let Allison know in the office. Many thanks.

 

13. WGCG Winter Lecture Programme: 2019

Meetings are held on Wednesdays (usually 3rd of the month) and start at 7.30 p.m. in St Francis Church Hall, 110 Warwick Road, Kenilworth, CV8 1HL unless otherwise stated. Tea / coffee and biscuits are available beforehand from 7.00 p.m.  Please check the WGCG website for any late, unforeseeable changes at http://www.wgcg.co.uk/talks/

  • 20th March 2019: “Analysing the Skeleton of a King” – Prof. Jane Evans (BGS) (isotope studies on the remains of Richard III, and the light this throws on the diet and lifestyle of a medieval monarch).
  • 17th April 2019: ‘The Geology of Norway’ -Chris Darmon (editor ‘Down to Earth’ magazine & proprietor of ‘Geosupplies’).

 

14. Teme Valley Geological Society (TVGS) Talks

Please find details of forthcoming TVGS evening talks held in Martley Memorial Hall (MMH). Talks commence at 7.30pm, fees are £3 for non-members and £1 for members.

  • Saturday 16th March 2019 Field trip to glacial erratics of North Worcestershire and South Birmingham, and building stones in Birmingham City Centre.   Led by Ian Fairchild and Julie Schroder. Contact John Nicklin on 01886 888318 or visit: http://www.geo-village.eu/
  • Monday 18th March 2019 Roy Starkey ‘Minerals of the English Midlands’.
  • Monday 29th April 2019 TBC.
  • Monday 13th May 2019 Dr Will Tattersdill ‘Geology of the Imagination’.

For further information of the TVGS please visit www.geo-village.eu

 

15. Malvern U3A Geology Group

The Malvern U3A Geology Group meets on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at the Cube, Malvern, from 10.00 – 12.00 am. The entrance price is: £2.00

  • Wednesday 13th March 2019 – What’s Underneath a Volcano? - Prof Kathy Cashman (Bristol University).
  • Wednesday 10th April 2019 – Geology, Origin and Celebrity of Shap Granite - Dr Nigel Woodcock (Cambridge University).

 

16. Woolhope Club

The Woolhope Club Geology Section meetings to be held in the “Woolhope Room” of the Library in Broad Street Hereford at 6.00pm for 6.30pm until 8.00pm. For further information of the Woolhope Club please visit www.woolhopeclub.org.uk

  • Friday 22nd March 2019 – Oil and energy resources in the UK (title of talk to be arranged) with Dr. Tony Loy of Merlin Energy Co.
  • Friday 27th September 2019 – Paul Gannon on Snowdonia.
  • Friday 25th October 2019- To be arranged.
  • Saturday 2nd November 2019- Geologists Association (GA) Festival at University College London (UCL). Woolhope Club Members are most welcome. Note Saturday meeting.
  • Friday 22nd November 2019 – Paul Olver: A Tale of Five Magmas: A Review of Planetary volcanism.
  • Friday 13th December 2019 – Members’ Rock/Fossil Festival plus drinks in a nearby pub.

 

17. Black Country Geological Society (BCGS) Programme

BCGS indoor meetings are held at the Dudley Archives, Tipton Road, Dudley, DY1 4SQ with a 7.30 for 8.00 pm start unless stated otherwise. Visitors welcome, but there will be a charge of £1.00. For further details please see the website: http://bcgs.info

  • Monday 18th March 2019: (Indoor Meeting, 7.00 for 7.30 pm start): AGM followed by ‘Rock along the Cut’. Speaker: Andrew Jenkinson.
  • Saturday 6th April 2019: (Field Meeting): ‘Quaternary of the Severn Valley in Shropshire’, led by David Pannett (Shropshire Geological Society). Meet at 10.30 am at Lyth Hill car park, GR: SJ476072.
  • Monday 15th April 2019: (Indoor Meeting):  ‘Europe’s Lost World: The Rediscovery of Doggerland’. Speaker: Professor Vince Gaffney MBE FSA, Anniversary Chair in Landscape Archaeology, University of Bradford.
  • Saturday 11th May 2019: (Field meeting) Martley Geo-Village, led by John Nicklin (Teme Valley Geological Society). Meet at 10.30 am at Martley Memorial Hall for light refreshments and a pop-up display. Recognised as a Geo-Village, Martley has distinctive geology within its bounds spanning the Palaeozoic and lower Mesozoic. Please bring a packed lunch.
  • Saturday 15th June 2019: (Field Meeting): Lydney Cliffs, Gloucestershire: Led by John Moseley (Gloucestershire Geoconservation Trust). Meet 10.30 at Lydney Docks. Good parking at east end of Harbour Road, GR647013.

 

18. Rock ‘n’ Gem Shows

These shows will be held at Cheltenham race course on 23rd and 24th March 2019.

For further details of these shows please visit the website: http://www.rockngem.co.uk/

 

If you have anything you would like to include in our next monthly update please forward to eht@worc.ac.uk by 5th April 2019.

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust, Geological Records Centre,

University of Worcester, Henwick Grove, Worcester, WR2 6AJ.

Tel: 01905 855184, Email: eht@worc.ac.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 2019 news and update

1. Conserving Herefordshire’s Ice Age Ponds – Volunteer Training Days

Would you like to come along and learn about the fascinating world of Ice Age Ponds, their wildlife and geological origins and how we can help to keep them for future generations?

The new project “Conserving Herefordshire’s Ice Age Ponds”, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is running a 1 day training course for volunteers wishing to expand their knowledge about Ice Age Ponds. Working with geologists and ecologists from the project you will learn about how Ice Age Ponds were formed, why they are unique and how to record the geology and find and identify wildlife that can be found.

The training days will be run on:

  • Thursday 28th March – Credenhill Community Centre
  • Friday 29th March – Pembridge Village Hall
  • Sunday 14th April – Credenhill Community Centre
  • Saturday 11th May – Pembridge Village Hall

Morning – Indoor Session:

  • Introduction to the Ice Age in Herefordshire and the landforms it left behind
  • Introduction to Pond Ecology
  • Introduction to field survey techniques for Ecology and for Geology

Afternoon Session:

  • Practical demonstration and chance to have a go at doing Geological recording, substrate core samples using augers, GPS recording of water levels and water quality testing.
  • Practical demonstration of Ecological recording techniques, habitat mapping, dipping for invertebrates.

 

No previous experience of ecology or geology is necessary, full training in the use of GPS, water quality meters and pond survey techniques will be given.  The aim of the training is to provide volunteers with the skills necessary to complete pond surveys to collect data for the Ice Age Ponds project and help focus our more detailed investigations.

Training lasts from 10.00am – 4.00pm and all equipment, plus hot drinks and biscuits will be provided.  You will just need to bring suitable outdoor clothing and lunch.

These training sessions are all free but places are limited and booking is essential.  To book your place please email Project Manager David Hutton on d.hutton@herefordshirewt.co.uk

 

2. Articles for the EHT Annual Newsletter

Once again, I am looking for articles to represent EHT’s activity over the last year to put into our Annual Newsletter/Review for 2019.

If you can provide an article on any projects you have been a part of, to fill an A4 page or a double page spread, including a few illustrative photos/diagrams, please let me know as soon as possible; or if you feel you can offer a shorter article to go alongside another smaller one, please forward those too.

Please let me know if you are planning to submit an article so I can plan the pages, on email s.knox@worc.ac.uk

The deadline for articles is 1st April 2019. Many thanks. Sue Knox


3. EHT Resources’ Training Days.

Two such days have now been arranged at our offices at the University of Worcester on 9th February for members of the Teme Valley Geological Society and 14th February for the Malvern Hills sub-group of the Malvern U3A geology group.  Other requests to hold such a training day are welcome.  We plan to include using the collections of maps and geological literature held in the EHT offices and the use of Edina Digimap resources for air photos, geological and OS maps, historical OS maps and other data.  Participants can if they wish bring along ideas for places that they would like to research.

 

4. GeoExplore Deep Time App now available

GeoExplore now joins Voyager as the second app produced by the DeepTime Project.

GeoExplore is available for free for your Android or Apple phones and tablets, from Google Play* or the App Store.
GeoExplore is a fieldwork data recording app aimed primarily at geology students, but useful to anyone wishing to record location based data. The app toolset includes a clinometer, graphic logger, audio recorder, camera, grain size chart and various reference sources. All data is logged by location in the apps database. GeoExplore will automatically compose an email of your logged data and send it to recipients of your choice.

 

Within the app you may setup a field trip of your design, defining sites to investigate either before going into the field or whilst in the field. The app can also download ‘guided’ field trips which contain a map of suggested sites and tasks to carry out at those sites. Currently five guided field trips are available: Black Mountains (Sedimentary & Geomorphology), Lickey Hills (Structural), Martley (Palaeoenvironment & Structural), Wye Valley 1 (Lithology & Palaeoenvironment) and Wye Valley 2 (Mapping). Although these are ‘local’ the app can support field work and data recording at any location in the world.

The DeepTime website (www.deeptime.voyage) will shortly contain support materials for GeoExplore and associated field trips – along with details of how you can author your field trip to feature in the app. Details in the next newsletter.

*To ensure you find the correct GeoExplore on Google Play search for GeoExplore education. On the App Store (for Apple devices) GeoExplore is a unique app name.

 

5. Deep time Mailshot – Call for volunteers

Are you free for 2 hours on Friday 15th February 2019 from 10 am to 12 noon filling envelopes for a mailshot? If you can spare the time please let Allison know in the office on eht@worc.ac.uk. All other contact details at the end of the newsletter. Many thanks for your help.

6. Countrytastic 2019 – Call for volunteers

The 2019 Countrytastic show at the Three Counties Showground will take place this year on Thursday 18th April 2019. If you would like to come and visit us and / or volunteer to help out on the day for an hour or two please let Allison know in the office. All help will be much appreciated. Many thanks.

7. Tiddesley Wood Open Day 2019 – Call for volunteers

The 2019 Tiddesley Wood Open Day will take place on Sunday 5th May 2019. The EHT have a stand at this annual event with children’s activities, rock specimens, selling merchandise and trail guides. If you would like to come and visit us and / or volunteer to help out on the day for an hour or two please let Allison know in the office. It would be great to see you there. Many thanks.

8. Could you be a Geopark Way Warden?

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust is responsible for the Geopark Way; a geology and heritage trail now in its 10th year which starts in Bridgnorth, Shropshire and ends 109 miles away in Gloucester, travelling through Worcestershire and Herefordshire and skirting the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark.

There are 17 easy to walk sections of the Geopark Way which each need a warden to look after them. We are currently in need of people to look after the 4 Sections at the Gloucestershire end of the trail. Could this be you?

In a nutshell, what we need is people to walk each of the sections twice a year, to keep an eye on the state of the pathway, replace any missing signage, maybe snip a bit of overhanging foliage and to report back to the Geopark Way Project Officer.

The sections vary in length, landscape and geology so there’s a wide choice and anything you feel you could to do to help would be very much appreciated.

You will be supplied with the Geopark Way Guide pages for the section/s you are interested in walking along with A4 maps with more detail than those in the guide. You also get some Geopark Way pointers, description tags and nails, to replace any missing or old ones you may come across.

So, if you feel you could monitor a section or two of the Geopark Way for us on a fairly regular basis; at least twice a year, maybe with a friend if you prefer or if you know someone who might like to help us, please get in touch with Sue Knox, Geopark Way Project Officer at: s.knox@worc.ac.uk or through the H&W EHT office on 01905 855184

9. Emergency First Aid Training available

I’ve arranged another Emergency First Aid course on Tuesday 5th March at Warndon Community Centre Youth Hall from 9.30am – 4.30pm. This is open to volunteers and staff, but no more than 3 participants from any one organisation.

If anyone would like to attend please email: worcestercommunityaction@gmail.com

There is no cost although we do reserve the right to charge an organisation £20 for non-attendance without informing us.

Whilst light refreshments (tea / coffee / squash & biscuits) are provided, participants will need to make their own arrangements for lunch.

Sally Ellison, WCA.


10. WGCG Winter Lecture Programme: 2019

Meetings are held on Wednesdays (usually 3rd of the month) and start at 7.30 p.m. in St Francis Church Hall, 110 Warwick Road, Kenilworth, CV8 1HL unless otherwise stated. Tea / coffee and biscuits are available beforehand from 7.00 p.m.  Please check the WGCG website for any late, unforeseeable changes at http://www.wgcg.co.uk/talks/

 

  • 20th February 2019:  “Swimming Plesiosaurs and Flying Dinosaurs; Palaeontology at Wollaton Hall, Nottingham”-Dr. Adam Smith (including references to Chinese dinosaur discoveries).
  • 20th March 2019: “Analysing the Skeleton of a King” – Prof. Jane Evans (BGS) (isotope studies on the remains of Richard III, and the light this throws on the diet and lifestyle of a medieval monarch).
  • 17th April 2019: (provisionally) ‘The Geology of Norway’ -Chris Darmon (editor ‘Down to Earth’ magazine & proprietor of ‘Geosupplies’).

 

11. Teme Valley Geological Society (TVGS) Talks

Please find details of forthcoming TVGS evening talks held in Martley Memorial Hall (MMH). Talks commence at 7.30pm, fees are £3 for non-members and £1 for members.

  • Monday 11th February 2019 Nick Daffern ‘Palaeolithic Worcester’.
  • Saturday 16th March 2019 Field trip to glacial erratics of North Worcestershire and South Birmingham, and building stones in Birmingham City Centre.   Led by Ian Fairchild and Julie Schroder. Contact John Nicklin on 01886 888318 or visit: http://www.geo-village.eu/
  • Monday 18th March 2019 Roy Starkey ‘Minerals of the English Midlands’.
  • Monday 29th April 2019 TBC.
  • Monday 13th May 2019 Dr Will Tattersdill ‘Geology of the Imagination’.

For further information of the TVGS please visit www.geo-village.eu

 

12. Malvern U3A Geology Group

The Malvern U3A Geology Group meets on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at the Cube, Malvern, from 10.00 – 12.00 am. The entrance price is: £2.00

  • Wednesday 13th February 2019 – Rocks from Space – Dr Paul Olver.
  • Wednesday 13th March 2019 – What’s Underneath a Volcano? - Prof Kathy Cashman (Bristol University).
  • Wednesday 10th April 2019 – Geology, Origin and Celebrity of Shap Granite - Dr Nigel Woodcock (Cambridge University).

 

13. Woolhope Club

The Woolhope Club Geology Section meetings to be held in the “Woolhope Room” of the Library in Broad Street Hereford at 6.00pm for 6.30pm until 8.00pm. For further information of the Woolhope Club please visit www.woolhopeclub.org.uk

  • Friday 22nd Feb 2019 – AGM at 6.30 pm followed by Dinner at 7.30 pm at The Bunch of Carrots Inn, Hampton Bishop, Hereford. Details of costs to be advised soon.
  • Friday 22nd Mar 2019 – Oil and energy resources in the UK (title of talk to be arranged) with Dr. Tony Loy of Merlin Energy Co.

 

14. Black Country Geological Society (BCGS) Programme

BCGS indoor meetings are held at the Dudley Archives, Tipton Road, Dudley, DY1 4SQ with a 7.30 for 8.00 pm start unless stated otherwise. Visitors welcome, but there will be a charge of £1.00. For further details please see the website: http://bcgs.info

  • Saturday 16th February 2019: (Geoconservation Day): Wren’s Nest. Directed by the reserve wardens. Meet at the Wardens’ office on the Mons Hill College ground at 10.30 am.
  • Monday 18th February 2019: (Indoor Meeting): ‘Turning Soil into Stone’. Speaker: Dr Steve Wilkinson, Senior Lecturer in Engineering Geology, University of Wolverhampton.
  • Saturday 2nd March 2019: (Geoconservation Day): Barrow Hill. Directed by Mark Williams. Meet at 10.30 am on Vicarage Lane off High Street, Pensnett (A4101).
  • Monday 18th March 2019: (Indoor Meeting, 7.00 for 7.30 pm start): AGM followed by ‘Rock along the Cut’. Speaker: Andrew Jenkinson.
  • Saturday 6th April 2019: (Field Meeting): ‘Quaternary of the Severn Valley in Shropshire’, led by David Pannett (Shropshire Geological Society). Meet at 10.30 am at Lyth Hill car park, GR: SJ476072.
  • Monday 15th April 2019: (Indoor Meeting):  ‘Europe’s Lost World: The Rediscovery of Doggerland’. Speaker: Professor Vince Gaffney MBE FSA, Anniversary Chair in Landscape Archaeology, University of Bradford.


15. Rock ‘n’ Gem Shows

These shows will be held at Cheltenham race course on 23rd and 24th March 2019.

For further details of these shows please visit the website: http://www.rockngem.co.uk/

 

16. Two Indoor Courses from Nick Chidlaw

I am currently offering two 1-day courses for next March; these are indoor-based, and describe field areas where I have run courses and trips in the past. These courses may be attractive to people who are not in a position to visit these areas e.g. insufficient time available because of family / work commitments, or health problems.

Details of each course is provided below.

Each course would comprise power point-based lectures, together with examination of hand specimens of relevant mineral and rock types, and published geological maps of the field areas. The hand specimens have been collected by the tutor in the field areas described.

A handout outlining the day’s programme containing sketch maps and other relevant drawings, stratigraphic tables and a list of optional reading, would be provided on each course. No prior knowledge of geology or the study areas would be assumed.

Please note that these courses are run on the same weekend and in the same venue, but are independent of one another – you can enrol on both if you wish to, or one of them, according to your interests / availability.

Venue for both courses: The Buckingham Room (single storey building by the car park) at The Chantry, 52 Castle Street, Thornbury, South Gloucestershire. BS35 1HB. See website for further details please visit: www.thechantry.org.uk

Nick Chidlaw will provide information on accommodation options to those who live beyond reasonable commuting distance. On each course, attendees would bring their own packed lunch and other refreshments, or go into the town for lunch.

Tuition Fee: £27.00 per person for each course.

Payment of Tuition Fee: Cheque payable to Nick Chidlaw, should be sent to 8 Silver Street, Dursley, Glos. GL11 4ND. Bank Trans can be arranged if required. (Please let Nick know).

Deadline date for viability of both courses: Saturday 16th February (4 weeks before the courses are due to run).

Both courses to have a minimum of 10 attendees / fee equivalent. Maximum of 30 attendees on each course. If viability for either or both courses is reached, those enrolled will be informed on the deadline date and arrangements will be able to continue. Further enrolments can be made up to 1 week before the courses are due to run. If the minimum number of attendees / fee equivalent is not reached for either course by the deadline, that course will be cancelled and fees received will be returned to those who have sent them in.

Any queries, do get in touch with the tutor nickchidlaw@gmail.com

Course details:

EVIDENCE FOR A TERRANE BOUNDARY: THE HIGHLAND BORDER, SCOTLAND

Saturday 16th March 10.00 am – 5.00 pm

Many tectonic plate collision zones around the world contain ‘terranes’: regions of crust with well-defined boundaries, that differ significantly in their geological development from neighbouring regions. Ancient long-since stabilised collision zones globally are often composed of a set of interlocking (often fault-bounded) terranes, each of which originated in different places and had different tectonic histories, but which were progressively amalgamated into the  arrangement seen today. The crust of the British Isles is composed of a number of such terranes, brought together by plate collisions that culminated in the ‘Caledonian Orogeny’ (mountain-building episode, Early Silurian – Mid Devonian times). On this course, we trace one of these terrane boundaries along the Highland Border of Scotland between the Isle of Bute (near Glasgow) in the west, to Stonehaven (near Aberdeen) on the east coast. We will look at the character of the two terranes involved, the nature of the boundary between them, evidence for when the terranes were separated, and for when they finally became joined.

GEOLOGY OF THE HOLM ISLANDS, BRISTOL CHANNEL

Sunday 17th March 10.00 am – 5.00 pm

This indoor day focuses on the geology of the small relatively inaccessible islands of Steep Holm and Flat Holm, located in the Bristol Channel between Weston super Mare and Cardiff. The islands, on which rock exposures are widespread, are composed of a variety of chiefly fossil-rich tropical marine shelf and lagoonal limestones of Carboniferous age, deformed by major earth movements during that geological period. Stratal dips of up to 70 degrees occur, and both large-scale and small-scale folds are present, together with thrust and reverse faults. Later, in Middle Jurassic times, crustal extension permitted hot saline mineralizing fluids to rise into fissures on what is now Steep Holm, forming veins of galena and baryte.  The bedrock geology underlying the Bristol Channel around the islands and between Weston and Cardiff will be described, providing a basis for establishing the geological history of the islands; this includes such contrasts as their presence as discrete limestone hills within desert lake flats during Late Triassic times, and their location either side of a deep ravine containing the River Severn 10,000 years ago.

 

17. Mineral Extraction in Worcestershire

Messing about with Worcestershire’s rocks, whether they be hard granites or soft quaternary deposits, is a strictly controlled process, as I discovered when I started to become involved in it. Worcestershire County Council is the Mineral Planning Authority, and is responsible for making decisions on all planning applications for mineral development in Worcestershire. They are currently conducting a fourth and final consultation on their “Minerals Local Plan” that sets out the long-term planning strategy for mineral development in Worcestershire to 2035 and beyond. Much of the content of this article is taken from the plan, which can be viewed in full at:

http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/info/20652/emerging_minerals_local_plan/726/emerging_minerals_local_plan_where_we_are_now

H&WEHT is appointed as consultee in this planning process to ensure that the interests of geoconservation are taken into account. As a member of the Minerals Green Infrastructure Steering Group, the HWEHT works with other interest groups such as the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, to ensure that the net consequences of mineral extraction are beneficial to our natural and cultural heritage at a landscape level.

The minerals sector contributes around £6m to Worcestershire’s economy, so what are the useful minerals to be found there and how important are they commercially? Worcestershire has no resources of exotic minerals, such as gold and silver or even iron ore, but it is a net exporter of sand and gravel and produces 3% of national supplies of brick clay. In this newsletter, I will focus on the mineral resources of the county. In a future newsletter, I will explain the multi-faceted planning process with a particular focus, of course on geo-conservation interests.

Solid sand comes from the “New Red Sandstones” deposited in the Triassic period by the ancient Buddliensis River that brought sediment from the mountains created by the Variscan orogeny to the south of Britain. The climate was arid and tropical, so the iron in the sand grains was oxidised, giving the rock its deep red colour. The Wildmoor Sandstone Formation in the north-east of the county, which is up to 284m thick, is currently being quarried (see photo above). It is used for building-sand and mortar as well as some specialist ‘silica sand’ for industrial use, which comes from a fine-grained horizon within the Wildmoor sandstone.

Brick clay from Worcestershire is valued for its rich red colour. It is obtained from the Triassic Mercia Mudstone Group, which is very widespread and abundant in Worcestershire. The two active sites near Hartlebury can currently produce more than 2 million bricks per week in addition to a range of clay pipes and tiles.

Crushed rock is another valuable resource that is used mainly for road stone, railway ballast and for concrete and construction aggregates. Worcestershire has plenty of hard rock suitable for crushing, but almost all of it occurs in the Malvern Hills and Cotswolds Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). For this reason, Worcestershire has now arranged to obtain its supplies of crushed rock from nearby counties. Many of the rock faces we can examine today, however are only visible thanks to quarrying works of the past (see photo above).

Sand and gravel from the Quaternary river terraces of the Rivers Severn, Avon and Carrant Brook are used mainly for concrete. These deposits are not very deep, typically up to 6m, but may be up to 10m in Severn terraces and 20m in places where hollows have been infilled. Clearly the thinnest of these are not commercially exploitable. There is overwhelming demand from the building industry for sand and gravel, and national policy requires it to be sourced locally to minimise demand on transport infrastructure.  Many conflicting interests are taken into account when deciding which resources to exploit. Geo-conservation is a significant concern for the Severn and Avon river terraces, which are regarded as internationally important phenomena. The geodiversity issues will be discussed in a future newsletter.

Two other mineral resources deserve a brief mention. Salt and brine has historically been extracted from the Droitwich Halite member. This is part of the Mercia Mudstone Group and represents a period in the Triassic when the area was particularly arid. Salt-bearing fluids were brought to the surface from depth and evaporated, leaving beds of solid salt up to 11m thick. Extraction of rock salt ceased in the 1970’s and the extraction of edible salt from brine ceased when the old brine baths closed in 2008.

No viable sources of energy minerals have been identified in Worcestershire. Although the Wyre Forest and South Staffordshire coalfields extend into the north of the county, and could in theory yield carbonaceous fuels (see photo left), but none are now considered viable and all mining operations ceased in the 1970’s.

You may also be interested to know that “although coal-bearing and shale strata exist in the county, there is no evidence to suggest that these contain unconventional hydrocarbons such as shale gas.” It seems that there is no imminent threat of fracking in this area.

Green energy sources are however being encouraged:  as the Local Minerals Plan states: “there are numerous installations in Worcestershire generating energy from household, agricultural, and horticultural waste. These include landfill gas engines and anaerobic digestion plants which produce biogas from organic material.

The planning process takes diverse inter-related factors into account, including the views of interest groups such as ours. Next month I will focus on our role in the process and the ways in which the interests of geoconservation can be pursued through co-operation with the minerals industry.

All photos in this article are reproduced in the Worcestershire Local Minerals Plan, acknowledging the H&W EHT as their source.

Kay Hughes, EHT

 

If you have anything you would like to include in our next monthly update please forward to eht@worc.ac.uk by 1st March 2019.


Herefordshire and Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust, Geological Records Centre,

University of Worcester, Henwick Grove, Worcester, WR2 6AJ.

Tel: 01905 855184, Email: eht@worc.ac.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 2019 news and update

Happy New Year and welcome to the first EHT news and update for 2019.

1. Geoheritage of Glacial Erratics

Ian Fairchild and Ella Young, together with Elizabeth Matka of the Friends of Cotteridge Park gave a talk on 11th December to the Birmingham Open Spaces Forum about the Geoheritage of the large glacial erratics in the city and the social history related to Cotteridge Park.  Most of the erratics came from the Arenig area of North Wales.  Whilst the previous lecture was to a closed audience, Ian is giving an open and geologically focused lecture on this topic to the Lapworth Society at the Lapworth Museum, University of Birmingham on Monday February 18th at 5 p.m.

 

2. EHT Resources’ Training Days.

Two such days have now been arranged at our offices at the University of Worcester on 9th February for members of the Teme Valley Geological Society and 14th February for the Malvern Hills sub-group of the Malvern U3A geology group.  Other requests to hold such a training day are welcome.  We plan to include using the collections of maps and geological literature held in the EHT offices and the use of Edina Digimap resources for air photos, geological and OS maps, historical OS maps and other data.  Participants can if they wish bring along ideas for places that they would like to research.

 

3. Conserving Herefordshire’s Ice Age Ponds

This Heritage Lottery-funded project is starting to wind up following the appointment of Beth Andrews as EHT project officer and David Hutton as project manager at the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust.  Ian Fairchild has been working on producing maps of the area and Beth and Ian are running a geological training course for staff involved in the project as a result of which we are now able to make a first call for volunteers to help with the project.   If you are interested in both ecology and geology and would be interested in working in a small team surveying pond sites then please contact the EHT office.  If you would like to find out more about the ice-age geology, but are not so interested in the ecology, there will definitely still be opportunities to be involved in surveying or perhaps in sediment coring.  One group who have already expressed interest are the Leominster U3A geology group to whom Ian is talking about the project in February with plans for a field visit in March with Beth and Ian.

 

4. A New Voyage App for the Malverns

During the autumn of 2018 work began on a new app for the Malverns as part of the ‘Voyager’ series. The app will cover the Malverns ridge from the Wyche Cutting  as far as Pinnacle Hill, starting and returning to the Wyche Geocentre via a circular (elliptical, actually) route.  Although the ridge itself here is a well walked route, it is not part of the Geopark Way, and no current trail guide specifically covers this part of the central Malverns.

The text is designed to appeal to a wide audience, including younger people and visitors to the Malverns. Nevertheless, the app will have a strong geological and landscape flavour, and will also embrace other points of archaeological or historical interest.

The layout of the app will follow the Voyager structure by focussing on a number of ‘sites’, the most important of which have been chosen to encourage people to learn about the geology underlying the spectacular views east and west of the Malverns, as well as those northwards towards the Worcestershire Beacon, and southwards towards the Herefordshire Beacon. Other points described along the route will include the Wyche spout, the medieval Shire ditch, the railway tunnels, and the Iron Age fort at British Camp, King Charles’ Thirds Wood, and the Ballard memorial on Jubilee Drive. Attention will also be drawn to the unusual concrete boulder (masquerading as a rock) lying halfway between the Wyche cutting and Perseverance Hill. This is the remains of the base of a sighting post erected in 1856 to guide the alignment of the Victorian railway tunnel, excavated with great difficulty through the Hills.

All this will be backed up, of course, by the excellent interpretative materials and refreshment available at the Geocentre and its café. It is anticipated that the app will become available on Apple and Android platforms by the end of January 2019.

Dick Bryant, January 2019


5. Advance notice – EHT AGM

The Annual General Meeting of the Earth Heritage Trust is going to be held at the Talbot at Knightwick, Worcestershire, on Saturday 8th June. The report of the year will be followed by a buffet lunch and a local field excursion.  All are welcome (although only members can vote).

 

6. Could you be a Geopark Way Warden?

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust is responsible for the Geopark Way; a geology and heritage trail now in its 10th year which starts in Bridgnorth, Shropshire and ends 109 miles away in Gloucester, travelling through Worcestershire and Herefordshire and skirting the Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark.

There are 17 easy to walk sections of the Geopark Way which each need a warden to look after them. We are currently in need of people to look after the 4 Sections at the Gloucestershire end of the trail. Could this be you?

In a nutshell, what we need is people to walk each of the sections twice a year, to keep an eye on the state of the pathway, replace any missing signage, maybe snip a bit of overhanging foliage and to report back to the Geopark Way Project Officer.

The sections vary in length, landscape and geology so there’s a wide choice and anything you feel you could to do to help would be very much appreciated.

You will be supplied with the Geopark Way Guide pages for the section/s you are interested in walking along with A4 maps with more detail than those in the guide. You also get some Geopark Way pointers, description tags and nails, to replace any missing or old ones you may come across.

So, if you feel you could monitor a section or two of the Geopark Way for us on a fairly regular basis; at least twice a year, maybe with a friend if you prefer or if you know someone who might like to help us, please get in touch with Sue Knox, Geopark Way Project Officer at: s.knox@worc.ac.uk or through the H&WEHT office on 01905 855184

 

7. WGCG Winter Lecture Programme: 2019

Meetings are held on Wednesdays (usually 3rd of the month) and start at 7.30 p.m. in St Francis Church Hall, 110 Warwick Road, Kenilworth, CV8 1HL unless otherwise stated. Tea / coffee and biscuits are available beforehand from 7.00 p.m.  Please check the WGCG website for any late, unforeseeable changes at http://www.wgcg.co.uk/talks/

2019:

  • 16th January: ‘The Wren’s Nest’ –Graham Worton (Curator at Dudley Archive) (geology of this celebrated nature reserve in Dudley, and the application for Unesco Geopark status).
  • 20th February:  “Swimming Plesiosaurs and Flying Dinosaurs; Palaeontology at Wollaton Hall, Nottingham”-Dr. Adam Smith (including references to Chinese dinosaur discoveries).
  • 20th March: “Analysing the Skeleton of a King” – Prof. Jane Evans (BGS) (isotope studies on the remains of Richard III, and the light this throws on the diet and lifestyle of a medieval monarch).
  • 17th April: (provisionally) ‘The Geology of Norway’ -Chris Darmon (editor ‘Down to Earth’ magazine & proprietor of ‘Geosupplies’).

 

8. Teme Valley Geological Society (TVGS) Talks

Please find details of forthcoming TVGS evening talks held in Martley Memorial Hall (MMH). Talks commence at 7.30pm, fees are £3 for non-members and £1 for members.

  • Monday 21st January 2019- Prof. Ian Fairchild – The Ice Age in Worcestershire and prospective TVGS research on the origin of the Teme Valley.
  • Monday 11th February 2019- Nick Daffern – Palaeolithic Worcester.

For further information of the TVGS please visit www.geo-village.eu

 

9. Malvern U3A Geology Group

The Malvern U3A Geology Group meets on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at the Cube, Malvern, from 10.00 – 12.00 am. The entrance price: £2.00

  • Wednesday 9th January 2019 – Plate Tectonic Mechanics and Processes – Dr Marco Maffione (Birmingham University).
  • Wednesday 13th February 2019 – Rocks from Space – Dr Paul Olver.
  • Wednesday 13th March 2019 – What’s Underneath a Volcano? - Prof Kathy Cashman (Bristol University).
  • Wednesday 10th April 2019 – Geology, Origin and Celebrity of Shap Granite - Dr Nigel Woodcock (Cambridge University).

 

10. Woolhope Club

The Woolhope Club Geology Section meetings to be held in the “Woolhope Room” of the Library in Broad Street Hereford at 6.00pm for 6.30pm until 8.00pm. For further information of the Woolhope Club please visit www.woolhopeclub.org.uk

  • Friday 25th Jan 2019 – From Martley to Mozambique – a tale of two coals with Dr. Bill Barclay.
  • Friday 22nd Feb 2019 – AGM at 6.30 pm followed by Dinner at 7.30 pm at The Bunch of Carrots Inn, Hampton Bishop, Hereford. Details of costs to be advised soon.
  • Friday 22nd Mar 2019 – Oil and energy resources in the UK (title of talk to be arranged) with Dr. Tony Loy of Merlin Energy Co.

 

11. Countrytastic 2019

The 2019 Countrytastic show at the Three Counties Showground will take place this year on Thursday 18th April 2019. If you would like to come and visit us and / or volunteer to help out on the day for an hour or two please let Allison know in the office. All help will be much appreciated. Many thanks.

 

12. Tiddesley Wood Open Day 2019

The 2019 Tiddesley Wood Open Day will take place on Sunday 5th May 2019. The EHT regularly have a stand at this event with children’s activities, rock specimens, selling merchandise and trail guides. If you would like to come and visit us and / or volunteer to help out on the day please let Allison know in the office. Many thanks.

 

13. Rock n Gem Shows

These shows will be held at Chepstow race course on 26th and 27th January 2019 and at Cheltenham race course on 23rd and 24th March 2019.

For further details of these shows please visit the website: http://www.rockngem.co.uk/

 

14. Herdman Symposium 2019 – Inside Out: a Journey From the Centre of the Earth

To be held on Saturday 16th February 2019 – registration from 9.30 am, talks from 10.00 am, held at the Central Teaching Hub at the University of Liverpool. This year the talks promise a fantastic insight into contemporary advances in the Earth Sciences.

Presentations (from 10am-5pm) include:

  • Dr. Chris Davies (Leeds) – Core/ Mantle boundary
  • Prof. Chris Ballentine – (Oxford) Deep mantle
  • Prof. Yan Lavallee  (Liverpool)  Volcanoes and experiments
  • Prof. Jennifer McElwain – (Trinity, Dublin) Palaeobotany
  • Dr. Sarah Boulton (Plymouth) –  Active Neo- tectonics: Moroccan High Atlas
  • Dr. Joel Davis (Natural History Museum, London) – ExoMars – Planetary geology

Ticket Price of £15.00 includes Talks, Abstracts, Refreshments, Buffet Lunch and Wine Reception. (Reductions for students, members of the Herdman Society and School/ College groups).

Advance Registration Essential - please go to https://tinyurl.com/Herdman2019 for more information about the talks and to register and pay. The online store should allow multiple registrations as part of a single booking.

 

15. Two Indoor Courses from Nick Chidlaw

I am currently offering two 1-day courses for next March; these are indoor-based, and describe field areas where I have run courses and trips in the past. These courses may be attractive to people who are not in a position to visit these areas e.g. insufficient time available because of family / work commitments, or health problems.

Details of each course is provided below.

Each course would comprise power point-based lectures, together with examination of hand specimens of relevant mineral and rock types, and published geological maps of the field areas. The hand specimens have been collected by the tutor in the field areas described.

A handout outlining the day’s programme containing sketch maps and other relevant drawings, stratigraphic tables and a list of optional reading, would be provided on each course. No prior knowledge of geology or the study areas would be assumed.

Please note that these courses are run on the same weekend and in the same venue, but are independent of one another – you can enrol on both if you wish to, or one of them, according to your interests / availability.

Venue for both courses: The Buckingham Room (single storey building by the car park) at The Chantry, 52 Castle Street, Thornbury, South Gloucestershire. BS35 1HB. See website for further details please visit: www.thechantry.org.uk

Nick Chidlaw will provide information on accommodation options to those who live beyond reasonable commuting distance. On each course, attendees would bring their own packed lunch and other refreshments, or go into the town for lunch.

Tuition Fee: £27.00 per person for each course.

Payment of Tuition Fee: Cheque payable to Nick Chidlaw, should be sent to 8 Silver Street, Dursley, Glos. GL11 4ND. Bank Trans can be arranged if required. (Please let Nick know).

Deadline date for viability of both courses: Saturday 16th February (4 weeks before the courses are due to run).

Both courses to have a minimum of 10 attendees / fee equivalent. Maximum of 30 attendees on each course. If viability for either or both courses is reached, those enrolled will be informed on the deadline date and arrangements will be able to continue. Further enrolments can be made up to 1 week before the courses are due to run. If the minimum number of attendees / fee equivalent is not reached for either course by the deadline, that course will be cancelled and fees received will be returned to those who have sent them in.

Any queries, do get in touch with the tutor nickchidlaw@gmail.com

Course details:

EVIDENCE FOR A TERRANE BOUNDARY: THE HIGHLAND BORDER, SCOTLAND

Saturday 16th March 10.00 am – 5.00 pm

Many tectonic plate collision zones around the world contain ‘terranes’: regions of crust with well-defined boundaries, that differ significantly in their geological development from neighbouring regions. Ancient long-since stabilised collision zones globally are often composed of a set of interlocking (often fault-bounded) terranes, each of which originated in different places and had different tectonic histories, but which were progressively amalgamated into the  arrangement seen today. The crust of the British Isles is composed of a number of such terranes, brought together by plate collisions that culminated in the ‘Caledonian Orogeny’ (mountain-building episode, Early Silurian – Mid Devonian times). On this course, we trace one of these terrane boundaries along the Highland Border of Scotland between the Isle of Bute (near Glasgow) in the west, to Stonehaven (near Aberdeen) on the east coast. We will look at the character of the two terranes involved, the nature of the boundary between them, evidence for when the terranes were separated, and for when they finally became joined.

GEOLOGY OF THE HOLM ISLANDS, BRISTOL CHANNEL

Sunday 17th March 10.00 am – 5.00 pm

This indoor day focuses on the geology of the small relatively inaccessible islands of Steep Holm and Flat Holm, located in the Bristol Channel between Weston super Mare and Cardiff. The islands, on which rock exposures are widespread, are composed of a variety of chiefly fossil-rich tropical marine shelf and lagoonal limestones of Carboniferous age, deformed by major earth movements during that geological period. Stratal dips of up to 70 degrees occur, and both large-scale and small-scale folds are present, together with thrust and reverse faults. Later, in Middle Jurassic times, crustal extension permitted hot saline mineralizing fluids to rise into fissures on what is now Steep Holm, forming veins of galena and baryte.  The bedrock geology underlying the Bristol Channel around the islands and between Weston and Cardiff will be described, providing a basis for establishing the geological history of the islands; this includes such contrasts as their presence as discrete limestone hills within desert lake flats during Late Triassic times, and their location either side of a deep ravine containing the River Severn 10,000 years ago.

 

16. Friends Gift Aid Forms

As a Friend of the EHT, if you have not already done so, please remember to return your gift aid form to the EHT Office at the address below. Your help is much appreciated.

 

17. Volunteering for the Earth Heritage Trust

If you have some spare time and would like to get involved with the EHT at future events for a couple of hours or half a day or so, please do let us know and we can add you to our list of volunteers to contact in the future.

If you would like to volunteer please contact Allison at the EHT office. Tel: 01905 855184 or email: eht@worc.ac.uk Many thanks.

 

If you have anything you would like to include in our next monthly update please forward to eht@worc.ac.uk by 1st February 2019.

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust, Geological Records Centre,

University of Worcester, Henwick Grove, Worcester, WR2 6AJ.

Tel: 01905 855184, Email: eht@worc.ac.uk

 

Events August 2017

BBC Country File Live

Thursday 3rd to Sunday 6th August 2017

Come and joins us in the Wild Life Zone at BBC Country File Live on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th August 2017.  Set in 100 acres of Blenheim Palace’s beautiful parkland, the show brings together the best of the British countryside from live arena shows, animal displays and farming in action to outdoor activities and sports,  fine foods and country clothing.

 

Fortis Family Fun Day

Friday 18th August 2017

Enjoy an afternoon of  family fun from 1.30-3.30 pm at Ledbury Deer Park and take part in the activities on the Earth Heritage Trust stand including the Dinosaur Detective Trail.

 

Fortis Family Fun Day

Friday 25th  August 2017

An afternoon’s family fun from 1.30 -4.00 pm,  including the Earth Heritage Trust Dinosaur Detective Trail at The Oasis Academy in Warndon, Worcester.

Events July 2017

Saturday 1st July 2017

Malvern Science in the Park, Priory Park, Great Malvern from 10.30 am to 4.30pm

Join us for a fun and exciting day exploring the wonders of science and technology. The event is free to attend with activities for all the family. The EHT stand and Dinosaur Detective Trail activities will be there. Any volunteers are very welcome. For further information please visit: www.innovatemalvern.com/science-in-park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Events June 2017

Sunday 25th June 2017: Rocks & Landscape of Eastern Herefordshire

A geology and landscape walk, including a look at the building stones of the prominent buildings along the way. From Colwall, we will follow the approximate path of the Geopark Way Trail and end the walk at Ledbury Station. The walk will be taken at a moderate pace to allow ample opportunity to view and discuss the landscape features. For further information and bookings, please visit: www.walkingfestival.com and click on the Programme and Walk 42.

GeoFest 2017

This years GeoFest runs from 27th May to 3rd September 2017 and includes guided walks, children’s activities, tours, exhibitions and much more. You can download the leaflet here – GeoFest 2017 leaflet and start planning some exciting days and evenings out. For further information go to: http://geopark.org.uk/

Events May 2017

Saturday 6th May 2017: The Land Beneath Your Feet – Geology Walk. Croft Castle.

Croft Castle Champions Group. Explore the beautiful Fishpool Valley, with its two quarries, and walk to the summit of Croft Ambrey, a notable Iron Age Hill Fort. See and handle the Aymestry Limestone, enjoy breathtaking views and learn all about the geological features and significance of the landscape. For further information and bookings, please visit: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/croft-castle-and-parkland/whats-on and click on ‘The Land Beneath Your Feet – Geology Walk’.

 

Events April 2017

Thursday 13th April 2017: Rock and Fossil Roadshow at CountryTastic, The Three Counties Showground.

Earth Heritage Trust will be collaborating with Gloucestershire Geology Trust to run a Rock and Fossil Roadshow at CountryTastic. For further information, please visit http://www.threecounties.co.uk/countrytastic/

 

Sunday 30th April 2017: Tiddesley Wood Spring Open Day.

Earth Heritage Trust will again have a stand at this year’s Tiddesley Wood Spring Open Day. For further information, please visit www.tiddesley.org.uk

 

Events March 2017

Thursday 16th March 2017: The Hive’s Science Night 2017, The Hive. Worcester.

British Science Week. 16:30 to 19:30. Earth Heritage Trust will have an information stand at The Hive’s Science Night. We will also be running geology-related children’s activities.