The Trust is involved with a number of partnerships dealing with all aspects of Geoconservation, Earth Heritage, conservation & green issues in general.
The Partnership delivering the Erratics project
In the period 2021-2023, we are leading a partnership of four organizations delivering the Heritage Lottery Fund project Birmingham’s Errtaic Boulders: Heritage of the Ice Age. Our partners are The Black Country Geological Society whose members are very active in the study area, the Lapworth Museum of geology at the University of Birmingham and the Birmingham Open Spaces Forum which coordinates the Friends groups of Birmingham’s parks.
Herefordshire Wildlife Trust
A major recent partnership has been with the Herefordshire Wildlife Trust and the Herefordshire Amphibian and Reptile Team in the National Lottery-funded project on Conserving Herefordshire’s Ice Age Ponds. For more information regarding our own research on Herefordshire Ice Ponds visit our page and the website iceageponds.org
For more information visit the National Lottery-Funded Project at their website, the link is Conserving Herefordshire’s Ice Age Ponds Website.
Planning partnerships with local Councils
The Trust works with the official planning agencies in several ways. Both Herefordshire and Worcestershire have Local Nature Partnerships organised by the County Councils and on which the Trust is represented. Diverse issues of interest and concern, and funding opportunities come up at these meetings.
The Trust is also represented on the Join Advisory committee of the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (MHAONB) and is funded by this body and the Malvern Hills trust to do geoconservation work.
For more information visit the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (MHAONB) website.
Adult education networks
Members of the Trust are active in working with geological societies and U3A groups in the region, giving lectures, leading field trips and publicising their activities in our monthly newsletter. We also provide training on the map and literature resources available at the Trust’s offices at the University of Worcester and on Geographic Information Systems to support amateur research. The following local groups are affiliates of the Trust..
The Abberley and Malvern Hills Geopark
The Geopark covers an area of some 1500 square kilometres. It stretches from Bridgnorth in Shropshire in the north to Gloucester in the south; and from Worcester in the east to Hereford in the west. It covers significant stretches of the Rivers Severn, Wye, Teme, Rea, Leadon and Frome. In addition there are inspiring natural landscapes in the form of the Wyre Forest, the Abberley and Suckley Hills, the Bromyard plateau, the Malvern and Ledbury Hills, the Woolhope Dome, May Hill and Penyard Park.
The Geopark aims to promote the natural and man made landscape, including geology, wildlife, archaeology and history to the public and to encourage their participation and understanding. One of the very active and successful ways of doing this is the annual three month GeoFest. All Geopark members contribute to the GeoFest programme which offers an extensive range of events and activities.
More information about the Geopark can be found on the website www.geopark.org.uk and at information centres located at Bewdley Museum, Severn Valley Country Park, Wyre Forest Centre, Cob House Country Park and Malvern Hills GeoCentre. In addition members have visitor and information centres at Severn Valley RaIlway, eleven National Trust properties, West Midlands Safari Park, Bodenham Arboretum, Worcester cathedral, Hartlebury and Worcester museums and Hereford Museum.
The Geopark operates as a forum of 19 organisations. One of the members Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service, carries out the day to day administration of the Geopark and is the official geopark contact point.
The Herefordshire and Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust led the original creation of the Geopark and currently supports it by publishing the Geopark Way guidebook (2nd edition, 2019) and maintain a network of wardens to check on the footpath’s condition.
The aims of the Geopark Way project were to establish a long distance Landscape and Geology walking trails, view our own page on the Geopark Way project
Gloucestershire Geological Trust
The Trust has been involved in establishing the Cotswold Hills Geopark, providing advice on defining the park’s boundary. A small part of Worcestershire, around Fish Hill and Broadway Quarry, is located within this Geopark.
For more information on the Geopark, visit their website.
The Geology Trusts
The Geology Trusts is a multi-regional umbrella organisation established to support county-based geoconservation groups across England.
Those conservation groups are the member organisations and many of them have the word “Trust” in their names, reflecting their care-taking role for geology and landscape. Thus the title “The Geology Trusts” is used both to refer to our central organisation and as a collective term for its members, similar to the way in which “The Wildlife Trusts” refers to the national and local bodies caring for wildlife.
The executive committee is made up of representatives from our member organisations, usually their chairman and a project officer. The Geology Trusts’ executive is therefore completely representative of its membership and those present at meetings can speak with authority on behalf of their county-based groups. These representatives elect annually, from amongst themselves, a Chairman and Treasurer for The Geology Trusts.
Internal communications and meetings are coordinated by an appointed Director / Secretary who acts as a first point of contact for enquiries and seeks opportunities for collaboration with other conservation organisations as potential external partners.
H&W EHT hosts the main office in Worcester, but the member groups are based across the country, from Yorkshire to Wiltshire and from Shropshire to Suffolk.
These members groups are all non-profit organisations, made up of professional and amateur geologists and any other people interested in helping to record and protect their local geodiversity and share their enthusiasm for it with others.
Background of The Geology Trusts
The strength of The Geology Trusts has always been its recognition of the benefits of working in partnership and the sharing of ideas and expertise. A small group of counties (including H&W EHT) began working together in 2000, with immediate success, invigorating smaller groups and gaining funding for joint projects. They constituted themselves as The Geology Trusts in May 2003 and the partnership has continued to grow.
In less than a decade the organisation had grown from a core membership of a few counties with a relatively small geographical footprint to embrace a much wider area through the active participation of eleven counties; there are now fourteen counties represented. During the first decade the Geology Trusts centrally attracted more than £350,000 of external funding, much of which has been matched by voluntary effort. Over the same period, the member groups raised around £2 million for their county-based work. Significantly, The Geology Trusts is recognised as a key player in major geoconservation initiatives, such as a project to develop a national Local Geological Sites database (with Natural England) and the Strategic Stone Study (with English Heritage).
The Work of The Geology Trusts
The role and work of The Geology Trusts falls under these headings:
- Networking – a forum for the sharing of ideas and experience.
- Best practice – the discussion and development of professional procedures and standardised methods and materials.
- Funding – seeking grants and contracts for collaborative projects and circulating information about national and local funding schemes to the members.
- Collaborative projects – these do not have to include all of members as geology, workloads and interests vary amongst the member groups. Each group simply selects those projects that they want to participate in. Some projects have been carried out in partnership with other conservation agencies and there is also interest in undertaking work on the basis of regional partnerships.
- Inter-county support – if a county group needs assistance from a neighbouring county, either in terms of expertise or manpower, this can be coordinated.
- Insurance – administering a central policy for member groups and paid project officers working for member groups or directly for The Geology Trusts.
- Participation in national initiatives and forums – a Geology Trusts representative attends the English Geodiversity Forum and the Earth Science Education Forum (ESEF). Representatives participate in national conferences and respond to national consultations on conservation issues. The Geology Trusts has been part of the working group that developed the UK Geodiversity Action Plan (UKGAP), assisted Natural England with the development of a national Local Geological Sites database and developed the Geodiversity Charter for England. More recently, work has been done to demonstrate the links between geology and ecosystem services and the concept of ‘natural capital’.
The Geology Trusts executive meets twice a year. Additional project coordination meetings are arranged as required. Meetings are enjoyable opportunities to associate with good friends and trusted colleagues. The Geology Trusts welcome enquiries from other like-minded geoconservation groups seeking advice or considering joining.
Member organisations pay an annual subscription based on their turnover. This contributes to the central running costs of the organisation.
Presently the members are:
- Bedfordshire Geology Group
- GeoConservation Cumbria
- DIGS (Dorset)
- Gloucestershire Geology Trust
- Herefordshire & Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust
- Oxfordshire Geology Trust
- Norfolk Geodiversity Partnership
- Sheffield Area Geology Trust
- Shropshire Geological Society
- Warwickshire Geological Conservation Group
- West Yorkshire Geology Trust
- Wiltshire Geology Trust
For more information about the Geology Trusts, please contact:
Julie Harrald, Tel: 01905 855184 or email: email@example.com
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