1. Glimpses of Underground Herefordshire 

Although the Conserving Herefordshire Ice-Age Ponds project’s funding is paused whilst we await the outcome of the bid for the second (delivery-stage) from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, four days of coring at pond sites took place in the period September 9th-12th. The effort was ably and energetically led by Dr. Warren Eastwood of the University of Birmingham assisted by several project volunteers.

Warren Eastwood and volunteer Fred Porton tackle the auger at a pond belonging to volunteer Don Evans of Norton Canon 

Beth Andrews undertook all the contacts with landowners and worked on-site and Ian Fairchild recorded it all! David Tubbs, a University technician, provided valuable support on the last two days when peat cores were taken for laboratory analysis probably by the two undergraduate students who each attended a day. The sediment cores were taken using a variety of types of augering device including the ingenious Russian corer.

Samples will be processed to recover pollen to examine the vegetation history over the past few thousand years and some samples will be carbon-dated. Results will be combined with previous coring studies to tell the story of Herefordshire during and since the last ice age.

A core of peat from a pond in the Staunton Park area 

In the coming months Earth Heritage staff will also be working on our contribution to an exhibition on the Ice Age to be held at Hereford Museum from April to June and we hope to be able to enhance our offering with resources from new Lottery funding – fingers crossed for the funding result in November!

A Huge “Thank you”

We couldn’t have done all this wonderful work without the amazing people who gave their time to survey ponds, let us visit their ponds and helped us find new ponds, research history and connect with landowners.

To say a huge “Thank You” we would like to invite you to our Project Celebration at Weobley Village Hall, Gadbridge Road, HR4 8SN, on Thursday 24th October from 2-4pm. As well as plenty of tea, coffee and cake we will have some displays showing some of the huge amount of data we collected and our plans for the future. Please let Beth know if you are coming (just so we have enough cake) by emailing e.andrews@worc.ac.uk. We look forward to seeing you soon.’

Finally, a little reminder: 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.

2. N.E. permission to work in SSSI Sites has been granted 

Many congratulations to Jonathan Bills who has gained a ‘blanket’ approval from Natural England for all of our geosite maintenance work in the Malvern Hills SSSI, lasting until 2029. Naturally, we will still need to obtain landowner permission for our work but this is not usually a cause of delay. We should now be able to plan the work to start from 1st October without unknown delays.

John Payne

3. ‘The Lower Palaeozoic of the Lickey Hills’ by Alan Richardson 

The Lickey Hills Geo-Champions emerged from the EHT’s Champions project as a dynamic group of volunteers, inspiring a deluge of new research to increase our understanding of the complex geological structure of the Lickeys. Interest was boosted by the recent ‘Voyages in Deep Time’ project, and group member Alan Richardson has been in the forefront of this drive to learn more. This led him to some innovative new interpretation which is described in this welcome up-date to earlier published papers.

‘The Lower Palaeozoic of the Lickey Hills’ summarises the research and new discoveries by the Lickey Hills Geo-Champions and others since the original Champions ‘Barnt Green Road Quarry’ booklet was published in 2011. Alan has included some published material by earlier geologists and brought our knowledge of Lickey Hills geology up to date. This is a beautifully produced booklet with numerous photos and illustrations, and Alan has generously decided that it should be freely available.

It is now on the Champions website to view or download here:

https://ehtchampions.org.uk/ch/wp- content/uploads/pdfs/Lickey_Geology_Review_2019_v3.pdf

We hope this publication will inform and inspire others to become involved with the gradually unravelling geological story of the Lickey Hills.

Julie Schroder (member of the ‘Lickey Hills Geo-Champions’)

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

The Worcester Community Lottery has recently 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:


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!

5. WGCG Lecture Programme: 2019 /2020 

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/ 

  • Thursday 10th October 2019: AGM
  • Wednesday 20th November 2019: ‘The Real Value of Microfossils’ – Haydon Bailey Wednesday 11th December 2019: Christmas Social
  • Wednesday 15th January 2020: Meteorites – Tom Barratt
  • Wednesday 19th February 2020: Geology & Wine in Southern France

6. The Woolhope Club Meetings

The Woolhope Club Geology Section meetings to be held in the “Woolhope Room” of the Library in Broad Street Hereford at 6.30pm for 7pm until 9pm. For further information of the Woolhope Club please visit www.woolhopeclub.org.uk

  • 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.

7. 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. All lectures are at 10.00am in the Cube, Malvern except the 3 noted below.

The new winter lecture programme is based on a series of lectures on the following: The evolution of the British landscape: geological and archaeological perspectives.

October 9th – Lecture Series No 1

The geological foundations of the British landscape

The main focus of the introductory lecture is on the Caledonian, Acadian and Variscan orogenies and the impact of the resulting structures on the present day landscape. Trangression of the sea during Jurassic times led to a long period of predominantly marine conditions which terminated at the end of the Cretaceous. Jurassic and Cretaceous sedimentary rocks form the landscape of much of Southern England.
Richard Edwards

October 21st – Lecture Series No 2 (Note: this is a Monday afternoon at 2.00pm)

The Early Tertiary volcanoes of the British Isles

The first part of the lecture concerns the development of ideas concerning the Tertiary in the 19thcentury. In the early Tertiary much of the British Isles became a landmass, probably due to magmatic processes related to the opening of the Atlantic Ocean. In Britain the main area of magmatic activity took place in NW Scotland and the vulcanicity of this classic area is described. The lecture concludes with a consideration of climatic variation during the Tertiary.
Richard Edwards

November 13th – Lecture Series No 3

Formation of the Alps and the influence of Alpine tectonics on Britain.
The Alps have been a classic area for the study of mountain building and we begin by looking at how ideas developed during the 19th and 20thcentury. Evidence for the impact of Alpine tectonism on southern Britain is examined. The lecture concludes with a look at the changes in vegetation during Tertiary times and the establishment of a pre- Pleistocene drainage pattern.
Richard Edwards

November 25th – Lecture Series No 4 (Note: this is a Monday afternoon at 2.00pm)

The Pleistocene: a landscape transformed by ice

The first part of the lecture concerns the extent of glaciation in the British Isles with particular emphasis on glacial deposits in the Welsh Borderland. The second part looks at the evidence for early human occupation.
Richard Edwards

December 11th – Lecture Series No 5

After the ice: enter some Stone Age hunters

We begin by looking at the changing geography of Britain as a consequence of glacial activity and the subsequent changes in sea level. We then consider post-glacial vegetation and mega-fauna. Finally, we look at the evidence for early stone age hunters.
Richard Edwards

January 8th – Lecture Series No 6

The Neolithic period and Early Bronze Age

The main emphasis is on Neolithic belief systems and the selection by Neolithic people of sacred sites within the landscape. We see the first major monuments built from stone. The felling of trees and introduction of farming begins to transform the landscape.
Richard Edwards

January 20th – Lecture Series No7 (Note: this is a Monday afternoon at 2.00pm)

The Iron Age: a landscape of hillforts and farms

Human activity has now transformed the landscape so that the forests are much reduced and farming is widespread. Rapidly rising population and the development of a hierarchical society led to increasing tribal conflict. Hillforts were constructed in a range of environments and for differing purposes and remain a feature in the landscape.
Richard Edwards

February 12th – Ice Age in Worcestershire
Prof Ian Farchild (Birmingham University)

March 11th – Danger! Cornish Mining Engineer at Work
Stephen Lay (Retired Mining Engineer)

April 8th – Metallic Mineralisation of the Mantle & Crust/Cratons
Dr Hannah Hughes (Exeter University)

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 October 2019: Prof. Yan Lavallee – Volcanoes and Experiments
Monday 18th November 2019: TBC Dr Chris Davies – Powering the Earth’s Magnetic Field over Geological Time
Monday 20th January 2020: Prof. Ian Fairchild – Caves, Caves’ Atmospheres and Caves Climates

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

9. The 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 5 October (Geoconservation Day): Saltwells Local Nature Reserve. Meet at the Nature Reserve car park (Grid ref: SJ 934 868) on Saltwells Lane at 10.30. Wear old work clothes, waterproofs and stout footwear or wellies. Please bring gloves and garden tools (hand brushes, trowels, loppers, secateurs, forks and spades if you have them). Either bring packed lunch or hot food can be acquired from the Saltwells Inn adjacent to the car park. Finish at 2.30.

Monday 21 October (Indoor Meeting): ‘A Geological Grand Tour of the Solar System’. Speaker: Andrew Lound. A tour of the solar system taking us on a journey from the sun to the far outreaches of the solar system, along the way visiting planets, moons, asteroids and comets. Illustrated with the very latest images and supplemented by music.

Saturday 2 November (Geoconservation Day): Details TBC.

Saturday 16 November (Field Meeting): An Introduction to Castle Hill. Led by Ian Beech (Wren’s Nest Nature Reserve). Meet at 10.00 in the Wren’s Nest wardens’ office, Fossil View, off Wren’s Hill Road, Dudley, DY1 3SB. After tea/coffee, walk from the wardens’ base to Castle Hill via Bluebell Wood. We will be visiting managed and unmanaged sites, looking at outcrops and logging areas with any findings. Many of the outcrops are similar to Wrens’ Nest so we should be able to make a comparison along with a general introduction to the site.

Monday 18 November (Indoor Meeting): ‘Minerals of the English Midlands’. Speaker: Roy Starkey. This talk explores the rich mineralogical heritage of the area, setting this into a regional, historical and economic context, and tracing the development of mineral exploitation from earliest times to the present day. Mineral specimens from the area are recognised as being significant on a global scale, and are to be found in all major mineral collections, both within the UK and abroad.

Saturday 7 December (Geoconservation Day): Barrow Hill (TBC). Directed by the Barrow Hill LNR warden. Meet on Vicarage Lane off High Street, Pensnett (A4101), at the top end near to the nature reserve and St. Marks Church, at 10.30. The day will involve vegetation clearance in the East Quarry. Wear old clothing and stout boots or wellies. Please bring gloves and tools if you can, i.e. brushes, trowels, loppers, saws, rakes etc. Safety glasses and hard hats will be provided where necessary. Bring a packed lunch and hot drink. We will aim to finish around 2.30.

Monday 16 December (Indoor Meeting, 7.00 for 7.30 start): Members’ Evening and Christmas Social. This is our annual chance for members to share their geological experiences in a sociable atmosphere with a Christmas buffet provided by the Society. Contributions needed from you! We need a few of you to volunteer to do a short presentation – on any topic with geological connections; or perhaps bring some of your specimens for admiration, discussion and identification. Please contact Keith Elder if you can contribute to this event: meetingsecretary@bcgs.info

10. West Midlands Regional Group Events

Please see below a list of events being held by the WMRG. All meetings are free of charge.

8th October 2019 18:00 for 18:30
Use of Lidar and Photogrammetry to develop predictive models of rock slope instability
Oliver Dabson and Jamie Gilham (Jacobs)
St Martin Church, Edgbaston St, Birmingham, B5 5BB

17th October 2019 09:30-11:30
Earth Science Week Heat Networks. Utilising the heat from the Sherwood Sandstone reservoir to heat public buildings
A STEM talk for A level students. Pre Register essential. energynetworks@solihull.gov.uk
Ray Pratt WMRG- GSL Lee Evans Sustainable Energy Iain Howley Howley Energy & Water
Solihull College, Blossomfield Campus, Solihull, B91 1SB

19th October 2019 10:30
Earth Science Week Visit to Oxford University Geological Museum Pre-register with Andrewcfharrison@yahoo.com
Andrew Harrison
Oxford University Museum of Natural History.
Parks Rd, Oxford OX1 3PW

20th October 2019 11:00
Earth Science Week Building Stones of Solihull – a guided walk
Ray Pratt
St Alphage Church Church Hill Rd, Solihull, B91 3RQ

12th November 2019
18:00 for 18:30
2020 Early Careers Award Launch. The Importance of Targeted Site Walkovers on Large Scale Project Engineering Geology of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route
Samuel Hazell (Arup)
Dan Roberts (Atkins)
St Martin Church, Edgbaston St, Birmingham, B5 5BB

3rd December 2019 18:00 for 18:30 Please note date
West Midland Regional Group AGM 2019. Carbon Capture and Storage
Sam Krevor
Subsurface CO2 research group at Imperial College London
St Martin Church, Edgbaston St, Birmingham, B5 5BB

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