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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