• Local GAPs

Slide Show

June 2019 news and update

1. Conserving Herefordshire’s Ice Age Ponds

Thank you to all the volunteers who came along to one of our training sessions, learning how to identify and survey Kettle Hole Ponds.  Don’t worry if you missed out on these, there is still time to get involved with this exciting project.

We are now gearing up for a busy summer of pond surveying at many sites across western Herefordshire.  Whether you have completed the training sessions, or not, we would love you to join us at one of our survey days during June and July.

June dates and locations are:

Friday 14th June – Mowley Wood, Staunton-on-Wye

Friday 21st June – Norton Canon area

Saturday 29th June – The Sturts Nature Reserve, Eardisley

July dates are below.  The locations will be confirmed soon.

Thursday 18th July – TBC

Thursday 25th July – TBC

Saturday 27th July – TBC

All equipment will be provided and if you haven’t been on our previous training courses then full training will be given too.

To book your place please email e.andrews@worc.ac.uk.

 

2. EHT Training Day

A local geological research and maps training day will be held on Tuesday 18th June at the EHT offices, University of Worcester St. Johns Campus.

We have arranged a repeat of the popular maps’ training day that was run twice in February.  It will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., costs £10 and you will be provided with paper copies of the slides. You are encouraged to bring your own laptop if you wish, but a computer will be provided otherwise. The workshop will cover the following topics with time for practical experience:

  • Use of publicly available geological mapping resources via the BGS.
  • Use of publicly available ordnance survey maps via OS open data.
  • Demonstrate the Trust’s comprehensive map coverage of the two counties.
  • Demonstrate the publications database and how to retrieve relevant research articles.
  • Demonstrate Trust collections of field photographs and project reports.
  • Additional resources available under supervision of Trust staff (for educational purposes under Trust auspices) in Edina Digimap.  This includes Ordnance Survey maps, historical OS maps, geological maps, aerial photographs and Lidar.
  • Database of Local Geological Sites and complementary data held in the archives (e.g. management plans, details of sites).
  • We will demonstrate the capabilities of using a Geographic Information System (GIS) to display and manipulate map information. (Given sufficient interest, it is planned to offer some GIS training in the autumn).

If you are interested in attending please contact Allison Tinsley at eht@worc.ac.uk indicating if you will bring your own laptop and if you want to focus on practical exercises or on a particular local place.

 

3. Recent Discoveries in the Lickey Hills

The Lower Ordovician Lickey Quartzite is well-known for its lack of fossils.  It is interpreted as a near-shore sand flat facies: as such it would have suffered bioturbation, wave agitation and twice-daily scouring by tidal currents.  These processes, combined with predation and scavenging would quickly remove any potential fossils.  It is worth remembering that, ‘absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’, and in many cases biologically active environments frequently have a very low potential for preserving fossil remains.  However, it would be mere speculation to suggest that the environment in which the sands of the Lickey Quartzite were deposited supported any kind of biota without some tangible evidence.

On a recent Geo-Champions ‘research walk’ I identified a single bedding plane that preserves the paired burrow openings of Diplocraterion.  While no cross-sections of the U-shaped burrows have been observed, the more or less consistent spacing of the pairs of openings supports this interpretation.

To date, these trace fossils constitute the only evidence we have of the life that inhabited the Ordovician environment of the Lickey area.  Their absence from other beds suggests that in this instance they were preserved by an unusual event, in which a sudden inundation of sediment preserved the burrows without disrupting them.

When I was first shown the Lickey Quartzite at the summit of Bilberry Hill, it seemed incongruous.  Unlike the other exposures in this formation, much of the rock at this location was a poorly sorted monomict breccia of quartzite fragments strongly bonded by a silica cement.  There was debate as to whether the rocks were truly outcrop or displaced boulders, and speculation about the origin of the breccia.  As it was assumed that this exposure must be close to the supposed hinge of the ‘Lickey Anticline’, it was suggested that the fragmentation could be associated with folding of the rock.  However, more intense folding is seen in the Barnt Green Road Quarry, without the development of this type of brecciation.  If the origin was structural, it was more likely to be fault-related.  The other possibility was a sedimentary origin.

When the group recently undertook a ‘research walk’ along the length of the Lickey Ridge, I was struck by the fact that the unconformity seen at the Rubery Cutting rises southwards towards Bilberry Hill.  It occurred to me that if the unconformable surface preserved a Silurian landscape with significant relief, the only source of sediment on the high points would be the Lickey Quartzite itself, and that the Bilberry Hill breccia might be sitting on the same unconformity as the Silurian Rubery Sandstone.

On the 26 May, a group of Lickey Hills Geo-Champions undertook a clearance of the site.  Malcolm Coghill, David Green, Ken Lewis, Julie Schroder, Adrian Wyatt and I spent a fruitful three hours excavating, cleaning and discussing.  We noted many contacts between breccia and unbrecciated Lickey Quartzite, in a variety of orientations, but most significantly, we unearthed a clear easterly-dipping unconformity between the two units.  It is seen in outcrop, and its continuation can be traced in a detached slab that has fallen without any horizontal displacement.

We therefore conclude that the breccia is of Silurian age, more or less contemporaneous with the Rubery Sandstone, and reflects deposition of weathered fragments of Lickey Quartzite on a topographical high spot, beyond the reach of the encroaching Silurian sea.  This would suggest that the Lickey Ridge may have had an earlier existence in the Lower Palaeozoic.  The fact that the breccia lacks the extensive jointing that characterises the Lickey Quartzite may suggest that folding of the quartzite took place in the Ordovician, prior to the development of the unconformity.

Beneath the surrounding thin soil layer lies a white deposit of very fine sand and silt, which contains occasional well-rounded frosted grains, and embedded fragments of quartzite and breccia.  This unsorted detritus is clearly derived from the outcrop, and may be the consequence of weathering under periglacial conditions.

As a footnote, the clearance was greatly enhanced by the use of a portable pressure washer – the WORX Hydroshot.  A 40 litre Aquaroll was used to take water to the site, and two freshly recharged batteries in the Hydroshot proved more than adequate to exhaust the water supply.

Alan Richardson

 

4. Geofest 2019

What’s On in The Geopark?

The Geofest is running from 25th May to 1st September 2019

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


5. Climate walk

Marie-Pierre Leroux is doing an MSc project at Hereford College of Arts about the effects of the Anthropocene (humans) on soils in Herefordshire.  She is using a variety of art work, drama and other imaginative ways to portray this.  There are some events lists below.  One really interesting event is a walk involving a game about the Climate Walk at Kinnersley.  People are asked questions which direct the route they move along and the effect that they have on climate change.  Their decisions will determine where they end up.  Marie-Pierre would like anyone interested to be involved.

  • A Climate Walk at the Kinnersley Arms on Saturday 29 June from 2 pm to 3.30 pm.

We walk in small groups from June 29th to the year 2099. Along the way, a combination of the choices we make and blind chance will decide the climate of 2099 for each group. At the end, we’ll compare our surprising journeys, and see how we feel about the unexpected world we have ended up in.

  • The Herefordshire Word-Hoard launch event with readings at the cider museum (HR4 0EF) on Friday 28 June. The start time is at 6.30 pm. We will invite you and others to contribute terms and expressions connected to local soil and its produce, earth and landscape. The project will run through July & August 2019. Words will be selected for publication in an expanded word-hoard.
  • A Climate Walk at The Maylord Orchard shopping centre on Saturday 20 July from 2 pm to 3.30 pm.
  • Voicing Herefordshire Soil in the Anthropocene, an installation which will be part of the MA fine art final show running from 20 to 26 July. The launch event is on 19 July at the Maylord Orchard shopping centre (time tbc). This should include an edited version of your interview.

For further information, please email the project leader, Marie-Pierre, on:

mp95leroux@hotmail.com booking in advance is not necessary, but it is helpful to know rough numbers.

 

6. NEW Geopark Way Visitor Guide for 2019 – available now on EHT Website

An Updated visitor guide to accompany the newly released Geopark Way Guide is now available. The visitor guide is designed to help you plan your trip along the Geopark Way. You will find information on all places to stay and places to eat along the length of the trail and details of public transport and alternative ways to explore the Geopark Way.

You can download this from the following page on the H&W Earth Heritage Trust website: http://www.earthheritagetrust.org/pub/category/the-geopark-way/the-trail-guide/

 

7. Call for Volunteer with Knowledge of Website Design

At its March meeting the EHT Board resolved to renew our website to make it fit for our purposes in the future.  We envisage that the technical work will be sent out to tender as a project, but it is important for the EHT to guide this process by being clear about what it wants as well as providing content in appropriate formats.

We are setting up a small group chaired by Mike Brooks to guide this process and are seeking a volunteer with experience in website design to help us define the parameters for the tender and select the successful applicant.  If you are interested please contact the EHT office by email to eht@worc.ac.uk or call 01905 855184. Thank you.

 

8. 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!

 

Upcoming Events

9. 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.

 

10. 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 will be selling merchandise and trail guides. If you would like to volunteer please let Allison know in the office. Hope to see you there. Many thanks.

 

11. Temporary Exhibition on Ocean Deep-Sea Drilling.

Until the end of June there is a fine exhibition within the Lapworth Museum of Geology at the University of Birmingham which showcases 50 years of highlights of drilling geological materials in the oceans.  Many of our insights into plate tectonics and climate evolution have stemmed from this work.

https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/facilities/lapworth-museum/events/exhibitions/2019/11March-MysteriesoftheDeep.aspx

 

12. Chepstow Rock ‘n’ Gem Show

On the weekend of 15th and 16th June 2019, Saturday 10 – 5pm and Sunday 10 – 4pm. There is a rock and gem show at Chepstow Racecourse with crystals, minerals, fossils and some jewellery. Admission for adults £4.50, seniors £2.00, children (8-16) £1.00, under 8s free.

 

13. 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/

  • Saturday 22nd June 2019:  Bredon Hill Walk, led by Rod & Boo Vernon / Deborah Overton. Joint with BCGS. Use will be made of Apps.
  • Friday 12th July 2019: Malvern Hills Walk with Dick Bryant.
  • Wednesday 18th September 2019: Jurassic Sedimentation in Yorkshire with Andy Howards 7 -9 pm.

 

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.

  • Monday 16th September 2019: Members evening.

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.

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

 

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 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

 

  • Saturday 15th June 2019: (Field Meeting): Lydney Cliffs, Gloucestershire: Led by John Moseley (Gloucestershire Geoconservation Trust). Meet 10.30am at Lydney Docks. Good parking at east end of Harbour Road, GR647013. Lunch in Lydney, or at Parkend, 2 miles north of Lydney. Afternoon: possible underground visit to Hopewell Colliery or Clearwell iron ore caves, or a Carboniferous limestone locality. Finish around 4.00pm. Bring a packed lunch or there may be an opportunity to buy lunch in Lydney or at the Forest of Dean VC.

 

  • Sunday 28th July 2019: (Field Meeting) Nottingham’s Sandstone Caves 10.45am – 4.00pm.  Nottingham’s Sandstone Caves, led by Tony Waltham. (Engineering geologist and karst specialist). Meet at 10.45am at bollards at the west end of Cliff Road, Nottingham, NG1 1GZ. Nearest car park is Lace Market Car Park, Pilcher Gate, NG1 1QE (about 100 yards to the north). Enter caves at 11.00am. The tour will take around one and a half hours. Please do not be late. Anyone arriving after 11.00am will not be able to join the cave tour. Numbers limited to 20. Helmets not needed. Torches needed for some parts. The caves are not suitable for wheelchairs or young children. Afterwards we will have a walk through the town to the Tunnel and Castle Rock, with a possible walk via the Church cemetery, time permitting. Aim to finish around 4.00pm.

 

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