Tuesday 31 July 2007

Christian Malford Squid Bed, Wiltshire

One of the most famous fossil localities in Britain, the Christian Malford Squid Bed in Wiltshire yields beautifully preserved squid complete with soft body parts. This will be the focus of a detailed investigation by a group of Earth Scientists, including Dr. Keith Duff from Natural England. The project has been awarded some funding by the Geologists' Association Curry Fund.

Saturday 21 July 2007

East Mendip Study Centre

The East Mendip Study Centre is an educational resource funded by all the quarry companies in the Mendip Hills, under the umbrella body of MQP. It is situated near Whatley Quarry, Frome, Somerset, (photo). There are quarry tours in August and tours for school parties throughout the year. It is an excellent resource, especially for teachers, and staff at the centre will cater for your needs from earth science and geography to biology. One of the most popular activities is joining in a role play where half the group members are pro-quarrying and half against quarrying. All the various important issues are discussed. If you are interested, contact Gill or Mary on 01373 475931 or 01373 475916.

After a visit to the Centre it is then easy to visit Tedbury Camp and the de la Beche site at Vallis Vale, both near Great Elm. These make up one of UKRIGS Educational sites.

Friday 20 July 2007

ECOS Frome

Please see what you think of the ECOS website. It has progressed a bit more now. It is crazy that these amazing monoliths do not seem to have any recognition or publicity anywhere. They are a wonderful resource especially for earth science teachers but, sadly, they badly need cleaning. Compare how they look today with the photos on the website which were taken some years ago.

This Spanish granite is the only one which has not weathered badly and you can still see the quartz, feldspar and mica crystals easily. There is also quite a lot of iron pyrites, (fools' gold).

Thursday 19 July 2007

Clay and Chalk Pits, Westbury, Wiltshire - 28th July

On Saturday 28th July, Simon Carpenter will be leading a field trip to the Clay and Chalk Pits at Westbury, Wiltshire.

This field trip will provide a fascinating opportunity to visit the fossil-rich Kimmeridge Clay. Many spectacular marine reptile fossils have been found here over the last 20 years. Simon Carpenter has recently discovered the remains of a new species of marine crocodile and will be bringing a selection of fossils from his own collection along on the day. The morning will be spent in the clay pit. After lunch, we will move to Beggars Knoll Quarry which exposes Lower, Middle and Upper Chalk. Fossils are plentiful at both clay and chalk quarries, so don't forget your collecting bags and hammers.

If you are planning to stay all day, please bring a packed lunch and plenty to drink. Sturdy boots are advisable and hard hats are essential at the chalk quarry. Both quarries are sun traps, so make sure you have your sun screen with you.

Meet: 10.30am Lafarge Cement Works, Westbury, Wiltshire (ST 880527).
There is a long approach road to the Cement Works. Please look out for signs for the Visitors' Car Park.

Please contact Simon Carpenter on 01373 474086 in advance of the meeting so that he can keep a check on numbers.

Specimen Cabinet free to a good home

If anyone would like this, with or without its rocks, please contact the Chairman, Bath Geological Society.

The metre rule shows its size.

Tuesday 17 July 2007

Geology and Industrial Archaeology

On Saturday 21st July, members of the Bath Geological Society and the Colerne History Group will be visiting Tedbury Camp and Fussells Ironworks, both near Frome, Somerset.

We are meeting at the ECOS monoliths (website under construction) outside the Merlin Theatre in Frome at 10.30 a.m. After a brief investigation of these amazing rocks, we shall continue to Tedbury Camp and explore the 150 million year-old sea floor before following the Mells River to the site of the Fussells Ironworks. If time allows, we shall also walk along the river to see the famous de la Beche unconformity where there is a time gap of approximately 150 million years between the Carboniferous limestone deposited when Britain was just south of the equator, and the Middle Jurassic limestone, deposited when we were in Mediterranean latitudes.

Everyone is welcome on this trip - - email the secretary at Bath Geological Society

Sunday 1 July 2007

Silbury Hill, Wiltshire

The Sanctuary, West Kennett Long Barrow and the West Kennett palisade enclosures plus the stone-lined avenues, stone circles and deep ditches of Avebury are probably all interconnected by the religious beliefs of the Neolithic people. Silbury Hill does not fit the pattern; it is an enigma. Why was such a hill built at the bottom of a waterlogged hollow? Lothar Respondek, the author of this very interesting and thought-provoking book has researched the climate, the landscape and the natural environment of the Neolithic people some 4500 years ago to try to answer all the questions surrounding Silbury Hill.

The book is £6.99, published by Elar Publishing. It can be obtained from The Corsham Book Shop, 16 High Street, Corsham, 01249 715988.