Brown’s Folly Nature Reserve consists of 91 acres of land on the hillside overlooking the valley of the River Avon
about half a mile south-east of the village of Bathford. It is owned by the Avon Wildlife Trust and has been designated
as a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) because of the Middle Jurassic rocks, plants and wildlife that can be
found there. Extensive limestone extraction on the reserve, largely by mining, was carried out in the past,
the stone being used for building and known as Farleigh Stone. This activity, long discontinued, has left the rock
exposed at many sites enabling it to be examined. The study of the different strata of rock and the fossils
they contain has made it possible to establish when they were formed and to build up a picture of what the area would
have looked like at the time. The walk lasts about two hours and takes you back in time about 160 million years.
The morning is also our annual clear-up of the Geological sites on this SSSI reserve. If you know the site well and
do not want to join the tour, then please come along with gardening tools and help to keep the sites open for others.
Meet at 10.00 a.m. at Brown's Folly Car Park (G.R. ST 798663). Strong boots, waterproofs, hard hats are required.
The Cathedral Rocks - the Earth materials used in the construction of Salisbury Cathedral
Steve Hannath, Wiltshire Geology Group
1.30pm - meet in the cloister corner in the west corridor by the main visitor entrance to the Cathedral and model of Old Sarum - 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. 15 - 20 minutes introduction to the Cathedral with a look at the main building materials in situ. People would then be free to look round on their own.
3.00pm - Make your way to Salisbury & South Wilts Museum (across the Close from the Cathedral about 200 metres). 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 - Talk about the building stones of Salisbury Cathedral
4.20pm - Questions
5.00pm or before if all done - all depart as the Salisbury & South Wilts Museum closes at this time. Booking essentialemail: Chairman, Bath GS- numbers limited NB The best parking value in Salisbury is in the Cathedral Close for £6 for the day
The layout and plants of Stourhead are largely explained by the underlying geology
Bruce Buswell, Bath Geological Society
This 18th century National Trust house and landscape garden are of national importance. The landscape was developed around a lake which resulted from the damming of a valley. On the slopes above it were built Greek- and Roman-style temples in a re-creation of classical elegance, along with the continued planting of the family's collection of trees and shrubs. It represents the culture and education of a Gentleman of the time, who had been inspired by The Grand Tour. The shape of the landscape, the lake, the soil and some of the structures derive from the underlying geology. Though sometimes one may not see the rocks for the trees, the trees themselves can tell stories of their own geological pasts.
The key to the scenery is the Upper Greensand, of Cretaceous age and immediately beneath the Chalk, it formed at a time of rising sea level before the deeper Chalk Sea. It underlies the level plateau in front of the House, where the seams of Chert influence the landscape. And because of their resistance, these seams cause the steep scarp face immediately below the plateau. We will see Chert put to use as a slightly eccentric building stone. The Greensand is underlain by Gault Clay, a more-familiar muddy deposit which floors the valley and makes possible the lake. The Greensand forms a soil which suits Rhododendrons, the sheltered site benefits other trees, as we will see.
The walk should finish about 1.00 p.m.
Meet at 10.30 a.m. in front of Stourhead visitor reception, beside the car park - entry will be free to National Trust members. For non-NT members, entry to the whole property is £12.50, garden only is £7.50.
Geology and Landscape evolution of the Monnow Valley
Dave Green, University of Bristol, Director of Geostudies
The trip will visit a number of localities along the Monnow to demonstrate:
• the changing form of the valley as it enters the outcrop of different members of the Old Red Sandstone
• the structural factors that have determined the course of the valley
• the historical variations of geomorphological process that have determined both the course and form of the valley and channel.
Of course, this study will necessarily include consideration of the development of tributary valleys and nearby high ground, such as the Golden and Grey Valleys, The Sugar Loaf and Skirrid Fawr.
We shall meet at 11.00 a.m. at St. Maughan's Church car park SO461171. Car sharing is recommended as we shall be on narrow roads with restricted parking. Strong shoes and a packed lunch are required.
Geology and Mining in the High Littleton - Camerton area
Dr. David Workman, Bath Geological Society
In the morning we will visit the remains of the Greyfield (or Greyfields) colliery at the west end of High Littleton. There will then be an easy 1km woodland walk south across the Upper Coal Measures to the Stephen's Vale waterfall where we will see well-exposed, massive sandstones at the base of the Upper Coal Measures. On returning to the village, we will note the local building stones and walk the short distance east to Rugbourne Farm where William Smith lodged from 1791 to 1795. He was employed to survey the nearby Mearns coalmine, the site of which is visible from the farm; there are also good views of the landscape and geological features thereof. We will consider the coalfield geology and how Smith benefitted from even earlier (much earlier) miners' empirical knowledge of its structure.
In the afternoon, we will visit Camerton mine Nature Reserve which has a scenic circular walk over the huge landscaped mine waste tip, with many good information panels.
We shall refer to the Wells and Frome geology maps.
Meet at 10.30 a.m. at the Church in High Littleton ST646580 (easy on-road parking around - not on the A39!) There is a convenient pub, The Hunter's Rest or we can picnic at the Nature Reserve at Camerton mine.
Somerset Earth Science Centre and visit to Moon's Hill Quarry
Dr. Gill Odolphie and Elizabeth Devon
We will investigate the Centre in the morning, hear about the quarrying industry and visit one of the local quarries. In the afternoon we shall visit Tedbury Camp where fossil collecting is allowed.
Meet: 10.30 a.m. at Somerset Earth Science Centre, Mendip Road, Stoke St. Michael, Radstock, Somerset BA3 5JU
Hard hats and high visibility jackets will be provided. Strong shoes and packed lunch are essential!