The QGIS training skills acquired in Earth Heritage Trust’s (EHT’s) training courses have been put to good use in at least two of the affiliated groups, to support very different projects. The Malvern Hills U3A Geology subgroup are collating diverse map-based information on the rocks of the Malvern Hills AONB, while the TVGS are using it to support learning and investigation of the river terraces of the Teme Valley.

The driving force behind the Malvern Hills group work was the availability of detailed information on the hills provided by Dave Bullard, based primarily on his PhD studies in the 1970’s. This included multiple field maps at a scale of 6” to the mile, cut from a 1927 Ordnance Survey map, plotting the positions of numerous exposures with hand-written notes on the rocks and mineral found at each place.

1927 Ordnance Survey Map illustrating Ivyscar Rock

Each piece has now been scanned at high resolution and QGIS has been used to align the pieces first to a complete copy of the OS map and then to the National Grid, which was not in use until the 1936. Those who attended the training course can now view this masterpiece and add further ‘layers’ of information, comparing it with other information sources such as contemporary maps, BGS data feeds and the AONB boundaries provided by DEFRA.

The snapshot shows Dave Bullards map at Ivyscar Rock. The red dot indicates this is a Local Geological Site. Clicking on the dot might reveal information about the LGS.

Map showing River Terrace at Neen Sollars

Dave Bullard’s work covers only a small part of the AONB and a great deal of information collected both from literature surveys and from contemporary field visits, is being plotted onto the bigger map. Field trips and walks can then be plotted, with the geological points of interest as the ‘way-points’, providing a wealth of background information.

The TVGS group is interested in the river terraces, so they are using BGS data on superficial geology combined with Ordnance Survey maps to locate them and plan visits.

They have also plotted locations mentioned in the literature and are using lidar data to show accurate, detailed contours and compare the heights of river terrace deposits up and down the valley. The group have already paid some visits to some of the known river terrace sites, including a most enjoyable trip to Neen Sollars, where some of the higher terraces of the old, westward-flowing river can be found.

The group photo (below) is taken from the ‘X’ on the map above and has the river terrace in the background.