|communities as custodians of our geological heritage
Gloucestershire Geology Trust have embarked on a new and exciting project called
‘Geowardens’, which aims to raise awareness of the fantastic geology and landscape in the area, and to develop a team of local volunteers to help conserve and enhance the rock exposures along the Huntley, Longhope & Hobb’s Ridge Geology & Landscape Trail.
Huntley Quarry Geology Reserve is an area of semi-natural ancient woodland, home to a varied biodiversity, including Dormouse, oak and chestnut trees, invertebrates and reptiles. Three old quarries provide a unique view into the structure of the local landscape, and the change from deeply incised valleys and steep hills, to a flat arable plain.
The main quarry exposes a sequence of sandstones and siltstones containing volcanic glass fragments and volcanic ash, derived from an ancient volcano. The rocks here have been folded and faulted, contorting the layers from horizontal to vertical, and a major fault line which separates the hills and valleys of the Forest of Dean and Welsh Borderland, from the flat arable plain of the Severn Vale.
A second quarry exposes sandstones derived from a desert environment that formed when Britain was part of a huge supercontinent.
The third quarry exposes the rocks from which the distinct topographic feature of May Hill is formed. These rocks are coarse, gritty sandstones formed by erosion of high ground as continental plates collided and forced masses of rock upwards to form a enormous mountain chain. The roots of these mountains are now preserved as the Malvern Hills. Hobb’s Quarry is a Wildlife Trust Reserve which provides an insight into ancient tropical seas, teeming with life and in which massive ‘ballstone reefs’ formed, a feature forming today in the seas off northern Australia.
The Geowardens project needs local people to help out with the management and conservation of sites where this stunning geological past can be demonstrated. There are many ways to be involved with the Geowardens; you can be part of the team carrying out conservation work to the rock faces and the woodland in Huntley Quarry and Hobb’s Quarry Reserves, you can help to lead guided walks around the reserve, you can just walk parts of the trail route and make notes of any problems (such as broken fences, rickety stiles and fallen trees) to let us know about, or you can help out at Rock and Fossil Roadshows, helping children make fossil plaster casts and trilobite masks.
If you are interested in any aspect of this, please get in touch and we will be happy to provide more details for you. Whether you want to really get your hands dirty on the rocks, or just help guide children at the Roadshows, we will be very happy to hear from you.
For more information contact:
Beth Wilson (Head of Geology)
Gloucestershire Geology Trust
The Tithe Barn Centre
Tel: 01452 864438