• Local GAPs

Slide Show

August 2019 news and update

1. Conserving Herefordshire’s Ice Age Ponds

We have now finished our site surveying and training for the development stage of the project.  With the help of many dedicated volunteers we have completed surveys of 35 ponds, and have partial surveys of another 10 ponds.  Many of these are on sites we didn’t know about before the project began.  Many more ponds have also been reported by keen volunteers, we have a big list of these that we are saving until we hear about the next stage of funding.

If you have attended one of our training days but haven’t received your copy of “Kettle hole ponds survey method manual” please can you get in touch with Beth on e.andrews@worc.ac.uk and we can make sure one gets posted out to you.

We are also in the process of sorting out a visit with some experts take some core samples of a few of our sites.  We haven’t finalised the dates and locations for these visits but it is likely to be towards the end of August.  If you are interested in coming along and finding out about how these longer (could be over 8m of sediment) cores are taken and seeing the experts at work then please let Beth know (e.andrews@worc.ac.uk) and you can be emailed the dates once they are finalised.

I want to say a huge “Thank you” to everyone who has been involved so far.  We have collected a huge amount of data in a very short time, often in less than ideal weather on many less than ideal sites.  We couldn’t have done it without you, so thank you.

Beth Andrews


2. Rare Exposures of Worcestershire River Terraces

Trust members and friends provided much practical support to a field trip connected with the quadrennial congress of the International Union for Quaternary Research INQUA. A Site of Special Scientific Importance (SSSI) section at Eckington near Pershore was re-excavated by permission of Natural England at the request of Professor David Bridgland (Durham University).

Dick Bryant, Kay Hughes, Alan Hughes and Roger Hunt worked with David to clear a jungle of brambles as well as soil and slope wash in advance of the trip. John Payne and Dick re-exposed the section in sweltering 32 degree heat on the day of the INQUA trip and re-covered it the following morning.  The site is a rare example of a river deposit from the last interglacial, about 125,000 years ago, which was slightly warmer than today and sea level was 6 m higher. Although humans were absent, a hippopotamus tooth was previously found at Eckington, characteristic of this time period.  In 2019, a possible rhinoceros tooth was uncovered as well as much broken up calcareous shelly material.

At the end of the international trip, scientists from Durham took some pebble samples for dating using the OSL technique which requires sampling in the dark – hence the hump in the covering sheet in the photo!

Another temporary river terrace exposure of the Worcester terrace from the last ice age was created by works near the River Severn at Bevere, north Worcester as observed by Brian and Kay Hughes.  However 5 days later, the section had all but disappeared behind iron pilings.

 

3. Support EHT through the **NEW** Worcester Lottery

The Worcester Community Lottery has just been launched by Worcester City Council and the EHT is one of its good causes. Half of the value of tickets sold through our page comes directly to us, with another 10% distributed to other local causes. One in 50 tickets wins a prize, with a prize maximum of £25,000.

So if you feel like a flutter on the lottery, please support the EHT by visiting our web page on the Worcester Lottery site:

https://www.worcesterlottery.org/support/herefordshire-worcestershire-earth-heritage-trust

You are invited to buy tickets on a weekly basis at one pound each, with a minimum commitment of one month (five tickets) and can cancel at any time after that. Good luck!

 

4. Champions Day in the Malvern Hills – Sunday 21st July

This year’s Champions Day took the form of a two part field visit to the Malvern Hills, hosted by Tank and North Quarry Champion, Richard Edwards.  Champions from the two counties, along with other guests from the EHT and associated organisations met in North Quarry beside the Malvern Hills Trust notice board.

Richard explained how he had tried to ensure that this board contained a substantial amount of geological information.  In the end, it contained less than he’d hoped for, but a small amount of information is better than none! Our thanks go out to Richard for his tireless work to raise geological awareness not only in Tank Quarry, but by including North Quarry in clearance work and new signage which he has initiated in both quarries over the last few years.

Richard gave us detailed handouts, and took us to look at the excellent exposure of the East Malvern Fault in the wall of the quarry.  The rock face was cleared a few years ago as a part of the ongoing clearance programme in the Malvern Hills led by John Payne. Through Richard’s initiative there is now an interpretation board at this site. The exposed rocks all belong to the Malverns complex (around 677 Ma) and we could see evidence of the fault in features such as slickensides, and fault breccia.

Moving on to Tank Quarry, the fruits of Richard’s labours were revealed in a superb display of boulders representing some of the principal rock types to be found in the Malvern Hills, plus a replacement for the original Champions display panel with more information.  Some recent clearance work and judicious use of an angle grinder enabled us to see some detail in the exposed rocks, including a fine exposure of a granite sill and a polished surface of the surrounding amphibolite.

Richard had a ‘secret’ store of hand specimens for us to examine, which added to the wealth of interest in this significant Champions site – certainly containing the best and most varied geological interpretation in all the Malvern Hills.

We thanked Richard for a very interesting and informative morning session and then headed for British Camp car park for the start of the afternoon session, led by Adrian Wyatt. Adrian is a member of the Lickey Hills Geo-Champions group, and a regular volunteer with EHT activities in the Malvern Hills and elsewhere.

Adrian outlined the afternoon programme which started with a climb to the summit of Herefordshire Beacon for a well-earned rest and lunch.  Here we were in the heart of the Malverns complex.  We were lucky to have clear views in all directions, and Adrian pointed out the significant features visible from here; the Silurian ridges and valleys to the west, the Triassic basin and Jurassic Cotswolds to the east, and the faulting which has offset Herefordshire Beacon from the Malvern ridge to the north.

From the summit we moved southwards towards Broad Down to see two contrasted exposures in the younger Warren House Formation (c.570Ma), the first of basaltic composition and the second of pinkish coloured rhyolite.  Then we moved down over Hangman’s Hill and to the west where Adrian had found a tiny Silurian exposure from the May Hill Sandstone Group, to the delight of the assembled company.  This was in the correct location on the geology map, but very hard to find due to the endless encroachment of vegetation.

We returned via Clutter’s Cave to see the basalt pillow lavas in the Warren House formation, and the day ended around 4.00 back in British Camp car park. Adrian was thanked for stepping in to lead us through a very interesting afternoon session, concluding a varied and action-packed day out in the Malvern Hills.

For more information about the Malvern Hills and the Champions Project, please visit the Champions website: https://ehtchampions.org.uk/ and go to the pages for the 4 Malvern Hills sites: Tank, Dingle, Westminster Bank and Gardiners quarries. The original Champions booklet for the Malverns is now available in pdf format to view or download from any of those pages.

Julie Schroder (EHT Champions Co-ordinator)


5. Geofest 2019:  25th May to 1st September 2019

What’s On in The Geopark?

There are lots of Guided Walks, Children’s Activities, Tours, Exhibitions, Workshops and much more across parts of Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire – Fun for all the family. More events and details on website www.geopark.org.uk

 

Upcoming Events

6. Fortis Summer Fun Days – Call for Volunteers

You are invited to join us at the Fortis Summer Fun Days as follows:

  • Martins Way in Ledbury on Friday 16th August-  1.30-3.30 pm

If you would like to volunteer at one of the above events, helping out with selling trail guides and merchandise or running a children’s activity, please let us know by contacting Allison at eht@worc.ac.uk or calling the office on 01905 855184. Thank you, your help is much appreciated.

 

7. WGCG 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/

  • Wednesday 18th September 2019: Jurassic Sedimentation in Yorkshire with Andy Howards 7 -9 pm.

 

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 16th September 2019: Members evening.

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 is: £2.00.

For further information please see website: www.malvernu3a.org.uk/geology3/

For people who are members of the Malvern U3A and would like to develop skills which could be useful in identifying items below ground, there is now an Introduction to Dowsing group within Malvern U3A.

The group is run by Ced Jackson who set up Malvern Dowsers (now 10 years old), and meets once a month on a Tuesday afternoon in Malvern.  For more information please contact Info@CedJackson.org (01684 560265).

 

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 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.

 

 

11. 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

 

If you have anything you would like to include in our next monthly update please forward to eht@worc.ac.uk by 3rd September 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