A Black Country Geological Society project, long delayed by massive redevelopment work in Birmingham City Centre, has at last come to fruition with the publication of three building stones trail leaflets for different parts of the city centre:

Trail 1 explores the Victorian heart of the city from the Town Hall to The Cathedral Square;

Trail 2 leads from the newly refurbished  Centenary Square to Brindley Place;

Trail 3, ‘Around the Shops’ explores the huge variety of stonework used in the many ages of development in the retail areas of the city.

The trail leaflets are all based on longer, more detailed trails produced by Ruth Siddall in 2016-17, and these are still available on the BCGS website (details below).

We were delighted that Ruth was able to join us for a small launch event for the leaflets on 15th August, along Trail 1 and weaving into the narrative much additional information from her vast knowledge and experience in this field.

The leaflets are free, thanks to a grant from the Geologists’ Association Curry Fund to cover the cost of printing. They will gradually become available at various outlets around Birmingham and the Black Country, or by request. They are designed as self-guided trails for the general public, but with plenty of detail to challenge those who already have some  geological knowledge.  There are also web-based versions with interactive maps, which are up-dated from time to time.

The leaflets are also available as downloads on the BCGS website. But in spite of all the digital possibilities, there is still nothing quite like following a trail from a nice shiny leaflet which you can hold in your hand!

Come to Birmingham and wallow in 2.7 billion years of earth’s history, visit all corners of the planet and learn some fascinating stone-related human history –  all in the space of a couple of miles!

It is gratifying that this project comes to a close just as the new EHT project: ‘Birmingham’s Erratic Boulders: Heritage of the Ice Age’ is getting underway.  Both projects involve BCGS, and both are helping to make geology more visible and accessible to the people of Birmingham.

For printed copies of the leaflets or to enquire about guided walks on the trails contact:  newsletter@bcgs.info

For downloadable pdfs of the leaflets, and access to the more detailed web-based versions of the trails go to:


Julie Schroder, BCGS