Further Information on Events

Field Trip to Snowdon and Anglesey with the Woolhope Club 15th-18th April 2020–Arrive evening 15th April for field trip to Snowdon and the “Devils Kitchen” with Paul Gannon on 16th April. Next day !7th April across to Anglesey with Paul Olver and 18th April return via Capel Curig (half day) to Hereford.

All to book into the Premier Inn Bangor, Menai Business Park, Bangor LL57 4FA Tel. No. 03337773677 asap. Arrive 15th April check out 18th April 2020.  We have to charge £4.00 per person  for Woolhope Insurance plus there will be a small charge for Paul Gannon’s expenses.

Field Trip to the Bude Area May 18-20th 2018, Leader Prof. Donny Hutton

The North Cornwall/Bude coastal section contains probably the best exposed, most accessible and spectacular fold structures seen in western Europe. They, along with well exposed faults, deform a simple sequence of interbedded black shales and pale sandstones of Lower Carboniferous age. The deformation is part of the Variscan orogeny which occurred in the late Palaeozoic (Upper Carboniferous to Permian in the UK(~ 290 Ma) as Gondwana collided northwards against Laurentia/Eurasia during the construction of the supercontinent Pangea.


1 Hartland Quay: Large upright anticlines and synclines of distinctive angular geometry (called chevron folds) fully exposed in cliff sections ~300Ft high and easily accessible and viewed from the beach below.

2. Hartland Quay Slipway: A completely exposed (in three dimensions) upright plunging anticline (with curved profile) and associated chevron syncline, all on a decimetric scale, which you can investigate in near total 3 dimensional detail.

2. Bude town foreshore: a series of upright decimetric-scale anticlines and synclines with associated thrust faults, again exposed in safe ground and perfect accessibility.

3. Millook Haven: Decimetric recumbent (symmetry planes have low dips compared to Hartland Quay) chevron folds in a ~300Ft cliff section in THE classic outcrop of this fold type. Easily viewed and accessible from the beach edge below.

4. Crackington Haven: Two, nearly perfect examples of normal (ie.produced by crustal extension) low-angle-of –dip faults and their associated drag folds well exposed in cliff section and also partly accessible in 3D.

In addition, in order to more fully utilise the geological opportunities of this part of the UK we plan to visit two other important sites:

5. Bovey Tracey/Hay Tor in Devon to see exposures of the famous Dartmoor granite.

6. (probably en route home on the Sunday) Kilve foreshore in Somerset. Here there are very well exposed Lower Jurassic limestones and shales (replete with big ammonites) which contain many beautiful and perfectly developed and exposed normal faults exhibiting all the text book features (fault planes, vein systems, slickensides, fault offsets, fault drag, relay ramps etc.) of fault structures.


The plan is to travel down on Friday evening and stay 2 nights in B&B accom in or close to the central part of Bude town. This should allow us to get together for food and other convivialities on the Friday and Saturday evenings.

Participants are responsible for their own B&B bookings, travel arrangements and packed lunches (small supermarket in Bude)

Five Hills Walks, No. 2 Croft Ambrey, Saturday March 24th 2018

This from Robert Williams, Croft Castle Geology Champions:
Our project with a group starts in the Croft Castle Car Park/Reception area at 10.00 a.m.(check in)/10.30 a.m. (departure), then follows a route to Croft Ambrey via the distinctive Fishpool Valley.  The valley has the two quarries, with which we as Champions have specific links, and these provide a helpful (and we trust interesting) prelude to the view from Croft Ambrey, an iron-age hill fort, which would be the object of this particular exercise.  Weather permitting, we usually have a picnic lunch on Croft Ambrey, which also allows for some talk/questions about the geological/geomorphological view +  local links with the history of geology in the 19th. century.  We then return by a different route with fine views out to the Black Mountains in the west – aiming to be back at the Croft Castle Tearoom at 2.30 p.m..  This then allows for refreshments in the tea-room plus a display, which we can put up relating to the narrative of the day.
As to booking arrangements, since this is a National Trust property, there are entrance charges/arrangements at the Car Park (N.T. members and non-members with separate arrangements).  Please can you, i.e. the TVGS, make your own arrangements for entry with Croft Castle.  We as Croft Champions can then meet and welcome your group on the other side of the entrance office, after everyone has been through.  The Croft Castle telephone number is 01568 780246.

Geology Course ‘Volcanoes in action – their magmas and minerals’

Major eruptions punctuate our history from AD 79 with the destruction of Pompeii through to Mount St. Helens in 1980. We will explore the origins of such catastrophic events and the underlying magmatic processes which have produced a wide variety of volcanic products. Particular attention will be paid to the minerals that occur in lavas and their associated pyroclastic deposits. Alkali-rich magmas that dominate the volcanism in the Bay of Naples and in the Eifel area of Germany will be introduced alongside the ultimate unusual magmas – the carbonatites with their resultant ‘washing soda’ eruptions of the East African Rift.

Each session will include a practical session on igneous rocks and their contained minerals. Mineral identification tests ( eg habit, hardness, colour, cleavage) will be introduced for use with hand specimens of the common rock-forming minerals and some more exotic mineral species that occur in alkaline lavas and carbonatites.

This course is different from the courses running at Ledbury (Jan/Feb 17) and that will be running at the Malvern U3A in late spring which involves mineral identification and gemstones – course members coming to Martley may have already attended either or both of these courses so would not want a repeat syllabus.

Teme Valley Field Trip, Wed. 5th April 1.30pm MMH

Risk assessment and joining instructions HERE

GEOLAB 4th February 2017 at Martley Memorial Hall 10am

For all those, young and old, who have never dared to enrol in a class on the mysterious subject of geology, this day is for you!  A morning session in the classroom learning under expert tuition simple facts about the rocks that surround us. After a bring your own lunch, an afternoon in the field examining real rocks and how they shape the landscape. A moderate charge applies of £10 for adults, free to anyone in full time education.  This will be a really worthwhile day that will enhance your understanding of the world around you and ad a whole layer of interest to future countryside exploration. Register your interest with me, John Nicklin, 01886 888318 or email martleypfo@gmail.com.


Talbot Knightwick Monday 12th December 7 for 7.30pm, speaker Dr Haydon Bayley, £20 TVGS subsidising £3 per head plus bottle wine between 4scan0001

GEOLOGICAL TOUR : Eastern France & Germany

 26 July – 8 August 2016

I am planning a geological tour by coach through Eastern France and coming back through Germany. We will be visiting key geological sites including the Ries meteoritic crater at Nordlingen, the Solenhofen Limestone at Eichstatt, Messel pit near Darmstadt, the world famous Senkenberg Museum in Frankfurt and the gemstone town of Idar Oberstein and well as other geological sites on the coast at Boulogne, at the margins of the Vosges, around the volcanic crater of the Laacher See in the Eifel, and among the hills of the Ardennes. During our trip we will be the guests of two of the other European Geovillages namely Sentheim near the Vosges and Eichstaat in southern Bavaria.

The price per person is £1294-00 sharing a twin/double. Single supplement is £350-00. All transport costs are covered within that price. Price is based on a minimum of 25 people.

Tue. 26/7/16: 1 night half board and 1 night bed and breakfast
Thur. 28/7/16: 1 night half board
Fri. 29/7/16: 1 night half board and 1 night bed and breakfast
Sun. 31/7/16: 1 night half board and 1 night bed and breakfast
Tues. 2/8/16: 1 night half board
Frankfurt Am Main
Wed. 3/8/16: 1 night half board and 1 night bed and breakfast
Fri. 3/8/16: 1 night half board and 1 night bed and breakfast
Idar Oberstein
Sun. 7/8/16: 1 night half board

Tour price includes:
29/7/16 Admission to the Mt Ste Marie Silver mine
2/8/16  Admission to Jura Museum, Eichstatt
4/8/16  Admission to the Senkenberg Museum, Frankfurt
7/8/16 Admission to the Steinkaulenberg Agate mine, Idar Oberstein
Coach travel for 14 days (1 day no coach use)
Local coach hire for 1 day/Cross channel crossings by ferry

Please contact me for further details on 01432 761693 or email: paulolver@hotmail.com

Dr Paul Olver

‘What’s Under Your Feet’ Festival of Geology, Senior Citizens Club, Abbey End Car Park (at top end of car park beyond the Kenilworth Centre), Kenilworth web www.wgcg.co.uk Saturday 20th Feb 2016 10am to 3pm

Geology Course: Geohazards – Volcanoes, Earthquakes & Tsunamis
Dates Feb 11, 18, 25 Mar 10, 17, 24, 31 Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) £40

Leader Dr Paul Olver

An introduction to the latest developments in ‘global tectonics’, the all-encompassing theory which explains the formation of the Earth’s oceans, the location of its volcanoes and earthquakes as well as its highest mountain ranges.

Recent events such as the Boxing Day tsunami in the Indian Ocean, the destructive earthquake in Nepal and the disruption of air travel due to Icelandic volcanism have all left a lasting impression. These catastrophic events are all due to the continual movement of the Earth’s major crustal plates and a wide variety of associated processes at a global level.

This course is aimed at beginners in geology and also those who would like an update on these key plate boundary processes and how they have shaped the planet throughout its geological history and the development of great civilisations in historic times.

Each session of the course will be supported by practical work involving the recognition of igneous rocks and the characteristic mineral species associated with the changing magma types.

Fracking, 12th October 2014 Tom Sinclair Bio

Tom Sinclair is a geologist of 9 years experience working in the oil and gas exploration business and has worked for 2 large international operating companies during this time. His current role is in Operations and he specialises in geohazard assessment and prediction. Tom was educated at the Royal Grammar School in Worcester and then went to Southampton University to complete a BSc in Geology and Geography. It was in Southampton that Tom developed an interest in exploration geology and followed this career path by completing a MSc at Royal Holloway and then a PhD in Durham to help in getting into the industry

BGS Open Day June 27th 2015 LINK
Free and open to all. No need to book. Lots and lots to do: queue for individual tickets on day for talks etc, otherwise tour at will. Coffee/tea will certainly be available to buy, possibly also lunch but that is tbc.
Approx 3000 visitors went last year so advisable to arrive promptly. Any queries to: ctietjen@bgs.ac.uk.

Three Pubs Challenge June 21st

Our first ever Three Pubs Challenge with of course a geology theme.
Just turn up at the Crown, Martley, from 10am till 2pm, on Sunday 21st June–the longest day–take a map and walking guide, ask the staff to stamp your card then set off towards the Talbot via the Admiral Rodney Inn up the road (approx. 4 miles).
Obtain stamps at each pub, buy a drink and maybe a snack if you wish (not a condition) and proceed along the route checking out the geology on the way using the notes as a guide. Links MAP/Guide, Quiz
At the Talbot enjoy their Longest Day Party and buy some Martley Rock beer!! YES, Teme Valley Geological Society has commissioned their very own special brew by Chris of the Talbot, Martley Rock beer–draft or bottled.  Complete the route with all three unique pub stamps.
From around 2pm cars will be running hourly back to Martley (for drivers only).
Bring family and friends and make this a memorable longest day (will be if it rains…..)
HERE is a link to the Worcester evening News that kindly wrote and article and took photographs to publicise the event–our thanks go to them.

Escape from Snowball Earth, Professor Ian Fairchild, April 13th 2015

During the Cryogenian Period (720-635 million years ago) glacial deposits were formed on all the continents leading to our understanding that Earth (twice) underwent panglaciation, i.e. globally extensive glaciation with ice sheets extending to tropical latitudes at sea level. The leading model to account for this is Snowball Earth theory which predicts: 1) a prolonged (>5-10 million year) well-defined glacial interval found on all continents, 2) an intensely cold earlier phase with a highly reduced hydrological cycle, 3) the progressive accumulation of volcanically derived atmospheric carbon dioxide as the ice age progresses and 4) the bulk of glacial deposition occurred during a ‘short’ period associated with sudden deglaciation. Others have questioned the this model based on the evidence for open marine deposits within glacigenic successions. Here we focus on what happened on land.

We recently carried out a research project called GAINS (Glacial Activity in Neoproterozoic Svalbard) reinvestigating the second panglaciation recorded in this part of arctic Norway. Here there is a non-marine record, but with both subglacial and ice-glacial facies and evidence of extensive periglacial conditions early in the ice age. Although Svalbard was in the sub-tropics at that time, floodplain and lake environments present carbonates demonstrating environments closely similar to the modern McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. Critically the limestones contain sulphate with a geochemical signature (a deficiency of the isotope 17-O) pointing to high atmospheric carbon dioxide levles through the deposition of at least the upper two-thirds of the glacial deposits. These observations imply that Wilsonbreen Formation deposition represents a relatively short (ca. 100,000 year) period at the end of the ice age and that the glacial advance-retreat events might be orbitally controlled. Model simulations under realistic continental configurations and high carbon dioxide pressures confirm that significant areas of bare ground would have existed on the equatorial continents and that changes in solar insolation lead to humidity-aridity cycles during precession of the Earth’s orbit, in turn leading to reversible changes in ice margin position. The Snowball Earth concept is vindicated but most sediment deposition occurred during its final stages which were quite dynamic.

Professor Fairchild: Ian Fairchild is a geologist, who has spent half his career teaching physical geography, feeding back the experiences he has gained from his research that embraces ice ages, modern glacial and cave environments, geochemistry of carbonate rocks, modern landscapes and climate change. He is someone who is just at home making precise chemical measurements in the laboratory as working in the field in the Arctic or underground in caves. Tonight he shows us how we can find modern analogies for even exceptionally strange environments from deep in the history of the Earth and how Earth history teaches us about how we should manage our planet today.

The Russian Meteorite, Dr Elizabeth Pearson March 23rd 2015

Synopsis: On 15 February 2013, a meteor exploded over Chelyabinsk in Russia., causing widespread destruction. Footage of the incident quickly spread across the internet, with people all over the world managing to recreate the meteors path to Earth. Soon the media descended on the industrial town, and I was one of the scientists asked to go along to shoot a documentary about the meteor and the scientific investigation surrounding it. This talk goes over that trip and the work that has been done on the meteorite since.

Herdman Society Symposium:
Geoscience Frontiers 2015.

The student-run Herdman Society at Liverpool University is holding its annual symposium in Liverpool on Saturday 21st February 2015. 

This year’s exciting programme includes: 

  • Prof. Andrew Aplin (Durham): Unconventional Hydrocarbons.
  • Dr. Juliet Biggs (Bristol): Volcanoes and Remote Sensing
  • Prof. Sanjeev Gupta (Imperial College): Fieldwork on Mars
  • Prof. Jennifer McElwain (Dublin): Palaeobotany
  • Prof. Iain Stewart (Plymouth): Oil and Hydrocarbons
  • Dr. Esther Sumner (Southampton): Modern and ancient turbidites and gravity flows. 

Ticket Price (£10.00): includes Talks, Abstracts, Refreshments, Buffet Lunch and Wine Reception

Advance Registration Essential –  go to http://tinyurl.com/nybf5pm for more information and to register and pay.

(to confirm attendance and purchase tickets on the door please contact Amy Shore: sgashore@student.liverpool.ac.uk with names and contact information).



Herdman Symposium -21st February 2015.

Herdman Symposium Secretaries – Jessica Bayliff, Amy Shore

Staff Representative – Prof. Jim Marshall (isotopes@liv.ac.uk)

Adrian Wyatt, Minerals of the Malvern Hills Feb. 16th 2015

The Malvern Hills are about 8 miles south of Martley.  They comprise
mainly Precambrian age igneous and volcanic rocks exhibiting extensive
alteration.  (Similar igneous rocks are exposed at Martley.)
During the active years of quarrying and tunnelling minerals were readily
seen and the Victorians, especially members of the Malvern Field Club,
started collecting examples.   However, with all sites now being derelict
for at least 40 years, rock surfaces are no longer in an ideal condition
to be examined for mineral content.
The talk summarizes research into the identity and occurrence of the
minerals comprising the Precambrian ‘Malvernian’ rocks and other minerals
formed during subsequent geological periods.  Specimens have been selected
such that the mineral in question can be seen with the naked eye or with
the aid of low magnification.  Photographs of the specimens are presented
together with sites of interest and associated historical notes.
This is an ideal opportunity to see what the Malvern Hills are really made
of and this may be more than you think!

Tom Jones, January 19th 2015:-Fissures and fountains: basaltic volcanic eruptions

Basaltic volcanoes are located all around the world and are responsible for the bulk of the planet’s magma output. Their eruptions are often spectacular, but are rarely violently explosive; consequently the hazard that they pose to life is modest. Nonetheless, basaltic eruptions can have serious impacts. Gas and ash emissions during Icelandic eruptions represent a significant hazard to the UK. 

THE ERCALL VISIT Saturday 18th October 2014


We will be starting off at the Forest Glen car park (Grid Ref SJ 644 094) at the foot of the Wrekin and will move on to a smaller car park, possibly sharing cars.General Comments on the TVGS Field Trip To The Ercall Quarries, 2014.

Time at Forest Glen 0945 for 1000 start


The Ercall quarries are open access to the public and little more than common sense is required to ensure safety.  For example, there is a pond next to the path so it might be wise not to fall into it!

We will not be going to any high hazard areas but the footpaths are rough throughout and good footwear (walking boots or the equivalent) is strongly advised.  High heels or flip-flops definitely at your own risk!!

The outgoing route is gently uphill.  (Don’t despair; it’s all downhill coming back!).   No one should feel they are being rushed or forced to go at a pace that is difficult for them.  If you have a particular problem, please discuss with the leader in private.  We will be taking “rests” at various places to examine features and discuss our findings.

There is one short and steep climb on grass where good cleats on your footwear would be most helpful.  Please be aware of each other’s needs and assist where necessary.  Probably the leader will be the one most likely to need help!

There is one area which is commonly wet/muddy.  I have never known it to be impassable in walking boots and wellingtons are not needed.

Are hard hats needed?   Schoolchildren always are instructed to wear them.  I believe adults should make up their own minds.  There are few, if any, areas where falling rocks are a significant hazard.  However, the area is open to the public so there is always the minor risk that idiots will dislodge rocks.  If you choose not to wear a hardhat then please make your own assessment on the spot as to whether you feel you wish to keep a few metres further back.

There are few natural areas where there are no insect pests, brambles or nettles.  If you are particularly sensitive then you may wish to bring repellent and/or treatment cream.  The leader is not a qualified first aider and will not be carrying a first aid kit.  Please provide for your own needs.

The British weather is so fickle that it would be sensible to carry out your own risk assessment and bring furs or sun-cream as required.  Bikinis and speedos, however, will give little protection against nettles and will probably scare the native birds.  The field trip will only be called off if the weather is dire.  We will not be too affected by the elements although the steep path may be given a miss under severe conditions.

We may need to take a walk along a road with traffic.  Common sense is needed.  The leader will wear a hi-viz tabard.

There are no toilets in the area (despite the public toilets shown on the OS Explorer map).

General Comments

The Ercall quarry complex has been used as a teaching site for groups from Key Stage 1 up to postgraduate level for well over 50 years and is considered to be the best such site in Shropshire.  When the quarries ended their useful life the owners offered to do work on the site to enhance their value for students and leaders.

The quarries are a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for geology and biology and the area should be treated with sensitivity.  Hammering is not allowed and hammers shall not be taken onto site.  Collecting should be kept to a minimum.  The leader will point out the limited areas where rock samples might be collected.

The fieldtrip should be treated as a “workshop session”.  That is, no oneupmanship, no points scoring and no prizes.  The only losers are those who choose not to get involved.  It will not be a “chalk and talk” exercise with the leader doing all the talking.  There are no “stupid comments” or “stupid questions”.  Ask and Discuss.  LEARN and ENJOY in a non-threatening atmosphere.

I cannot stop you from looking for the Ercall on the internet.  However, you will learn far more if you come with a blank sheet and work things out for yourself.  It’s more fun, too.  You can look for more information afterwards.  It is always enjoyable to poke fun at the leader for getting something wrong!

Bring with You (in addition to safety materials and lunch)

An enquiring mind and a desire to learn and understand.  It is up to you how much you will learn.

Note book, pencils, an eraser, pencil sharpener.  (Yes.  You will probably need to make notes and put down questions to follow up.  You might even be persuaded to sketch one or more of the exposures.  You do not need to be an artist!)

Hand lens if you have one.  (Definitely the second most important piece of equipment for a geologist after a note book.)

Compass clinometer if you have one.  If you don’t know what it is, you’ll find out!

A 2p coin.  Trust me.  If you don’t know why, you’ll find out!

Other items as you wish.