Friday, 30 July 2010

Field Geology in South Pembrokeshire

These field trips will be led by Dr. Nick Chidlaw and are thoroughly recommended!
The Pembrokeshire landscape differs from much of Wales in that it is largely unmountainous, with extensive areas forming plateaux lying below 183m (600 ft). This course will visit a number of key coastal locations in south Pembrokeshire, examining rocks formed during the Silurian, Devonian and Carboniferous.
Pre-course handout: the course assumes no prior knowledge of geology or the field locations on the part of attendees. A handout covering all necessary logistical information (including meeting locations) and background information (including list of optional reading) on the geology will be sent to those enrolled a week or two before the course runs. Information on how to study for accreditation (see below) will also be provided in this handout.
Course Dates: Course held entirely in the field. Four days, spread over 2 weekends with a 2 week gap in between. This format allows safe study of beach sections for longer – maximum use of low tides; it also allows people who are working and live within reasonable driving distance to avoid using some of their ‘floating’ holidays. The course is offered for October and dates chosen when low tides are at the most suitable time (c. middle) of the day:
Saturday 9th, Sunday 10th October
Saturday 23rd, Sunday 24th October
Tuition fee per person: £94.00.
Payment: contact Cardiff University Centre for Lifelong Learning tel: 029 2087 0000
Final Enrolment Date: prior enrolment essential to ensure course viability. If you wish to attend, early enrolment is strongly encouraged. If the course reaches sufficient enrolments to make it viable, we can then begin to make accommodation arrangements (see below) – the earlier this date is, the more accommodation is likely to be available from which to choose what suits you best. Final enrolment likely to be 24/9/10 (two weeks before the course is due to run).
Accreditation: University Lifelong Learning courses are supported by government funding, allowing universities to offer these courses, and keep tuition fees as low as possible. In order to maintain funding, attendees are required to undertake some assessed work. On this course, the question paper is designed for quick and simple responses, to be completed in your own time in the 2 weeks following the course. The pass mark is 40%, and in practise, students usually score very highly. They find undertaking assessments helps to consolidate in their minds what they have learned, and enables them to get the most out of their course.
Accommodation and Transport: Attendees organise their own. Please do not make any accommodation arrangements until you are informed if the course is to run or not. Organizing your own accommodation allows you to arrange what suits your personal preference and budget. Sharing transport is a good idea to save costs, and arrangements can be made if you enquire to the University to make contact with other attendees. The recommended general area for accommodation is to the south of a line along the waterway of Milford Haven eastwards to the coastal town of Saundersfoot. Information on accommodation can be obtained from tourist
information centres including one in Pembroke town tel. (01437) 776499 and in Tenby (01834) 842404.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Nature's Treasures - registration open

Nature’s Treasures 3
Mineralogical Society one day meeting at the Natural History Museum
Sunday 12 December - 10.00 a.m.
Registration £20 includes refreshments and lunch.
Click here for Programme details and registration
Photo:Campylite, courtesy of D. Green

Thursday, 8 July 2010

200 Years of West Country Sea Dragons - 22-24 July

Thursday 22nd - Saturday 24th July 2010, Street, Somerset
200 Years of West Country Sea Dragons: Thomas Hawkins and his fossil legacy
A public lecture, scientific seminar and field trip to be based at the Strode Theatre, Street, on the Somerset Levels. These events will offer a fresh look at Thomas Hawkins, one of the earliest and most successful collectors of marine reptiles from the classic early 19th century localities around Street in Somerset and Lyme Regis on the Dorset coast.
A public lecture, entitled “The Start of Dino Mania: the work of fossil monster hunters Mary Anning of Lyme Regis and Thomas Hawkins of Street” will start events on Thursday 22nd July. Delivered by the world-renowned Historian of Science, Professor Hugh Torrens (Keele University), the lecture will look at the life of Thomas Hawkins of Street and his better known contemporary Mary Anning of Lyme Regis. There will be a small admission charge, but is free to those attending the full seminar the following day.
The main seminar will take place on Friday 23rd July, and will be an expert look at topics ranging from Thomas Hawkins' personal life, the fossils he collected both then and now, and his metaphorical heirs the modern fossil hunters and museum curators. It is anticipated new vertebrate finds, together with posters by the sponsors, and workers and institutions in the south-west of England will be on display. We hope to arrange a visit the Alfred Gillett Collection of local fossil reptiles by kind courtesy of the archives of the Alfred Gillett Trust and/or a guided
walk to some of the remaining local quarry sites (both subject to confirmation).
The seminar will be followed on Saturday 24th July by a field excursion, to see some of the more distant historical quarry sites, the local scenery, and its relation to geological structure; it is anticipated a visit to at least one modern working quarry will be arranged. The field trip is subject to weather conditions, and should these prove unsuitable for the planned visit, an alternative outing will be arranged.
The seminar is open to all, but booking is essential. The conference fee of £35 (reduced to £23 for full-time students and the unwaged) includes tea and coffee, a light lunch on Friday, and free entry to the Thursday evening lecture. There is a small additional charge of £7.50 for the Saturday field trip, for which you will need to provide lunch. The cost of attending the Thursday evening lecture only is £6.50 (£3.50 for full concessions), and can be booked directly with the Strode Theatre by telephoning the Theatre Box Office on (01458) 44 28 46. Please send enquiries to the organisers at email or write to: Dr Leslie No√® (Hawkins Street Seminar), 51, High Street, Oakington, Cambridge CB24 3AG, including your name and address.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Combe Down Tunnel Open Day - July 17th

As its contribution to the Sustrans Connect2 celebrations for 2010, Wessex Water (the current owner of Combe Down Tunnel) has kindly allowed the Two Tunnels Group to hold an open day on Saturday 17 July 2010, during which members of the public are invited to walk through the mile long tunnel before it is transformed to its new role as part of the Two Tunnels Greenway. Everyone is welcome. Walks will start every half hour between 10am and 4pm at the Tucking Mill (southern) end of the tunnel.
Route Walk - Should people prefer to walk the whole 4 mile route between Bath and Midford on the day you can do so, including walking through Combe Down Tunnel (but not Devonshire Tunnel). Meet at the junction of Bellotts Road and the Lower Bristol Road (near the Royal Oak pub) at 10.00.
Booking - To ensure that numbers are properly managed, it is requested that places are booked on our website where further details are available.
Health and Safety - Current health and safety requires hard hats (or something similar) to be worn, so if you have one please bring it: if not one will be provided for you. The tunnel surface is uneven so sensible shoes are recommended. And it‘s very dark inside, so please bring a torch.
Travel - Limited car-parking is available. If you are able to use public transport or bike or walk, please do.
Charge - The event is free, but a small voluntary contribution, suggested at £2 per person, to Wateraid or the Two Tunnels Project, would be appreciated.