Tuesday, 27 September 2011


Do you know about Geostudies? It has been in existence since 1996, and has been delivering classroom and field based geological courses up to the present. In an environment, over the past twenty years, of shrinking academic educational/recreational opportunities for adult students, it has been a vehicle for their delivery, particularly in the Stroud and Gloucester areas. Geostudies is run by Dave Green, a self-confessed geological enthusiast, who simply likes to pass it on!
Lots of courses are available with full details on the website.
Dave writes, "We are short of a couple of people on an evening course which started last week on Volcanoes, held at the Chantry Centre, Thornbury, which promises to encourage lively debate, if last week’s session is anything to go by!
If you want to join this course or any other - contact Dave

Wick Quarry and Golden Valley - October 1st

In the morning we shall visit Wick quarry and will be looking at the Carboniferous: Gully Oolite, Clifton Down mudstone and limestone, Hotwells Limestone, folds, faults, mineralisation, igneous intrusion, fossils (corals, brachiopods).
In the afternoon we plan to walk around the area - Golden Valley, exploring the red ochre works.
Further details from our field secretary - Bath GS website
Meet at 9·45 a.m. in the car park, Wick Quarry, (ST 710732) for a 10·00 a.m. start. Strong footwear essential. Hard hats and reflective clothing will be supplied if you do not have your own.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Field Geology and Opencast Mining of Coal, South Wales

This field trip, to be led by Dr. Nicholas Chidlaw, takes place on two consecutive weekends:
Saturday 15th, Sunday 16th, 
Saturday 22nd, Sunday 23rd October 2011
Click HERE for details and enrolment.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Hair pins down Aboriginal origins

A lock of hair has helped scientists to piece together the genome of Australian Aborigines and rewrite the history of human dispersal around the world. DNA from the hair demonstrates that indigenous Aboriginal Australians were the first to separate from other modern humans, around 70,000 years ago. This challenges current theories of a single phase of dispersal from Africa.
While the Aboriginal populations were trailblazing across Asia and into Australia, the remaining humans stayed around North Africa and the Middle East until 24,000 years ago.
Only then did they spread out and colonise Europe and Asia, but the indigenous Aborigines had been established in Australia for 25,000 years. Australian Aborigines therefore have a longer claim to the land in which they now live than any other population known.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Mary Anning Day - September 24th

Lyme Regis Museum celebrates Mary Anning Day on Saturday September 24 with a programme of activities and talks that continues into the evening when Tracy Chevalier, author of Remarkable Creatures and Girl with a Pearl Earring talks about the discovery of Mary Anning’s first ichthyosaur 200 years ago.
The museum is open free all day - where you can look Mary's first ichthyosaur in the eye! (it's on loan to us from the Natural History Museum in London).
Tickets for the talks (being held in the Marine Theatre) are available at Lyme's tourist information centre 01297 442138

Rock Edge Quarry, Headington, Oxford - 24th September

Practical Clearance Session at Rock Edge Quarry, Headington, Oxford
Rock Edge Quarry is a geological SSSI & is a remnant of the limestone quarries formerly extensively worked throughout the Headington area. The rocks exposed here are of Upper Jurassic age and are part of the Corallian Formation. Sediments include patch reefs of the Coral Rag transitioning laterally into the Headington Hardstone.
This event is being supported by the Oxford City Council with funding from the Heritage Lottery.
September 24th - from 10am to 12:30pm.
GR SP 550 064. Situated at the crossroads between Windmill Road & Rock Edge Road. We will be permitted to park up on the grass verge, as there is restricted street parking for permit holders only.
We will provide tools, safety equipment & refreshments. Please bring extra drinks and snacks.
Pre-booking is essential. Please contact Denise Dane by email to book your place.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Origins of Metallurgy in Eurasia - 13th October

Bath and Camerton Archaeological Society, Thursday 13th October, BRLSI, Queen Square, Bath at 7.30 p.m.
‘All that Glitters: the Origins of Metallurgy in Eurasia’. This talk will be given by Ben Roberts, British Museum Curator of European Bronze Age,
Before joining the Dept. of Prehistory and Europe, Ben worked for a number of years on archaeological projects in Britain, France and Central America.  Recently he had particular responsibilities for researching  and co-writing the first 40 programmes of the British Museum’s fascinating Radio 4 series ‘ A History of the World in 100 objects’. This lecture on the spread of Metallurgy from the Middle-East will address the question of when and where metal was first produced in Europe and Asia.
Everyone is welcome: visitors £4, members £2.
(Image: Gold Cape from Mold, North Wales - 1900-1600BC)

Feather evolution trapped in Canadian amber

Samples of 80 million-year-old amber in western Canada containing feathers from dinosaurs and birds have yielded the most complete story of feather evolution ever seen. Eleven fragments show the progression from hair-like "filaments" to doubly-branched feathers of modern birds. The find adds to the idea that many dinosaurs sported feathers - some brightly coloured.
Recent years have seen a proliferation of reports about the beginnings of feathers as we know them now in birds. So-called compression fossils found in China bear outlines of primitive "filament" feathers that are more akin to hair. But modern feathers are highly branched and structured, and the full story of how those came to be had not yet been revealed by the fossil record.
Now, a study of amber found near Grassy Lake in Alberta - dating from the Late Cretaceous period - has unearthed a full range of feather structures that demonstrates the progression.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Salisbury Cathedral building stones - 29th October

Steve Hannath, from the Wiltshire Geology Group, has kindly offered to give a presentation on 'The Cathedral Rocks - The Earth Materials used in the Construction of Salisbury Cathedral' on Saturday 29th October 2011. Agenda for the day:
- 1.30pm - meet in the cloister corner in the west corridor by the main visitor entrance to the Cathedral - to save time people should make their donation (requested voluntary donations Adults £5.50; Seniors/Students £4.50; Groups £4.50) at the desk before meeting up. People would, of course, be free to arrive in Salisbury at any time for the market/retail therapy and spend time looking at the Chapter house (Magna Carta)/lunch etc.
15 - 20 minutes guided tour to the Cathedral with a look at the main building materials. People would then be free to continue looking round on their own.
- 3.00pm - Make your way to Salisbury & South Wilts Museum (across the Close from the Cathedral about 200metres). There will be no charge for entering the museum but there is an expectation that people who wish to visit the general exhibits would pay the normal entry fee. There is a very nice cafe in the museum and also one in the Cathedral. You should make your way to the Lecture Hall for:
- 3.20pm - 4.30 - Lecture with questions at the end.
- 5.00pm Salisbury & South Wilts Museum closes.
Booking essential as numbers are limited to 20-25. Please contact Steve Hannath by email or on 01722 326714 by  20th October for further information, or if you would like to attend.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Dates for your Diary

* September 10th - Exploring Bradford on Avon with Isobel Geddes, Wiltshire Geology Group
See Bath GS website for details.
* September 17th - Guided Walk to De La Beche Site and Tedbury Camp with Vicki Griffiths
See Mendip Rocks for details.
*September 18th - Guided Walk at Uphill Quarry, near Weston-super-Mare, Chris Richards, North Somerset Council Ranger Service
See Mendip Rocks for details.
* September 19th - 'The Marlborough Mound and the other Giants of Wessex' talk by Jim Leary of English Heritage
See Wiltshire GG website for details.
* September 28th - Guided geology/archaeology gallery tour at Weston-super-Mare Museum, with Jane Hill, Weston-super-Mare Town Council
See Mendip Rocks for details.
* October 1st - Family Fun Day at Somerset Earth Science Centre with Christopher Hancock
See Mendip Rocks for details.
* October 6th - 'Feeding Stonehenge: what isotopes can reveal about the origin of people and their food' - talk by Professor Jane Evans
See Bath GS website for details.
* October 12th - Guided Walk around Black Rock/Long Wood Nature Reserve with Chris Richards
See Mendip Rocks for details.
* October 15th - East Knoyle: geology, landscapes and building stones with Isobel Geddes, Wiltshire Geology Group 
See Wiltshire GG website for details.