In 2002 the Trust ran a pilot scheme of Rock and Fossil Roadshows and Family Fun Days at several localities in the two counties. These proved very popular. It is important to make children, adults and communities aware of their geological heritage. Once they are introduced to geology they will appreciate the rocks and landscape features around them and wish to conserve these for future generations. The National Curriculum does contain a certain amount of geology at Key Stage 2. Many teachers do not feel that they have sufficient knowledge to deal with this section. If children are introduced to geology by someone with enthusiasm about the subject it can lead to a life long interest in rocks, minerals fossils, geomorphology and the landscape around. In a two-hour session groups of 8 or less take part in a variety of games and activities. Schools are given a set of rock samples and information on rocks, fossils and minerals to take away with them. Schools have found the sessions very useful and there are never enough places for all those who wish to attend. Children like the activities and have written letters saying how much they have enjoyed themselves. In school once their interest is stimulated they bring in specimens to show what they have found for themselves. After they have been taught even a little geology they become aware of the rocks in their own environment and look at things they would never have previously noticed.
Family Fun Days are for parents and their children. There are similar games and activities to the Rock and Fossil Roadshows and also the opportunity to look at rocks under the microscope and to bring in specimens for identification. These sessions are very well attended. Children enjoy the activities and parents are happy to find out more so that they can answer their children’s questions.
The Trust is now seeking funding to help set up a permanent programme. The latter will still depend on volunteers but paid officers will secure the project and bring in more volunteers. Funding will also help in the development of new and better activities. If successful in our application for financial support a programme will be initiated that provides Roadshows every month at museums, libraries, village halls, country parks and similar locations. People will be encouraged to become members and volunteers for the Trust and new activities will be developed such as volcanoes, dinosaurs, fossil painting and coal measure forests.