Marches Festival of Geology 2007  





The year 2007 saw a number of anniversaries of significance to the geology of the Marches:

A number of organisations in the region collaborated to run the Marches Festival of Geology in celebration.

The core event was a one-day symposium at the Ludlow Assembly Rooms, on Thursday 13th September 2007, entitled The ground beneath our feet: 200 years of geology in the Marches.

The celebration was aimed at a range of people including local children and adults, amateur geologists, and those with research interests in the area. Most activities required registration in advance, and a small charge levied to help defray the costs of room/vehicle hire, catering and associated organisational costs.


Workshops (shown in teal by clicking here)

Events were run throughout the summer months aimed at children of all ages. The core activities were held at the Ludlow Museum Resource Centre in order to utilise their facilities. These included workshops on topics such as rocks are simple but fun, interactive video microscopy, fossil masks and geological painting. The field facilities at the Craven Arms Discovery Centre were be utilised for additional activities, including the talking rocks trail in conjunction with the Shropshire Wildlife Trust and crystal modelling.

The Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club in association with the Hereford and Worcester Earth Heritage Trust mounted their Rock and Fossil Road Show in Leominster, close to Ludlow.


Symposium (shown in green by clicking here)

The celebrations were centred on a one-day symposium in Ludlow, on Thursday 13th September 2007, on the theme of The ground beneath our feet: 200 years of geology in the Marches, for which the Ludlow Assembly Rooms was booked.

The invited speakers for this event had a special interest in the geology of the Marches and their contributions provided authoritative and up-to-the minute accounts of their specific fields. These were intended to appeal to the curious public as well as the committed geologist.

There were five themes:

The SGS Proceedings are the vehicle for publication (initially on the web, followed by printed copies for library distribution).


Exhibitions (shown in blue by clicking here)

Both the Herefordshire Heritage Service and the Shropshire Museum Services mounted exhibitions. The Bicentennial Exhibition at Hereford Museum was first, followed by the Ludlow Museum Resource Centre, which mounted an exhibition in support of the five themes in the symposium. In addition, the Castle Square Museum in Ludlow had an exhibition based on the extensive poster display prepared by John Fuller for the Geological Society's History of Geology Group meeting in the late 1990's, on the theme of early geological studies in the region.


Fieldtrips (shown in brown by clicking here)

There were fieldtrip opportunities for fossil-hunting (Wenlock Edge, led by the SGS) and raising awareness of the landscape (South Shropshire AONB) in addition to reviewing the geological science of the region. One fieldtrip ascended Caer Caradoc (near Church Stretton, organised by the SGS and led by Peter Toghill, whose recent book Geology of Shropshire in its second edition provides a comprehensive account of the region's evolution). From the summit there was a superb view of South Shropshire, providing the opportunity to relate the landscape to the ground beneath our feet. Another fieldtrip studied the bedrock geology and glacial features in the Wigmore area, visiting classic localities made famous by Murchison's early fieldwork in the company of the Rev Thomas Lewis and Sir Charles Lyell, presented as an historical re-enactment of the early Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club to the area (led once again by the Woolhope NFC). For professional research geologists interested in the Silurian there was the annual Ludlow Research Group field meeting, and the programme also permitted attendance on the Geological Society's own Bicentennial fieldtrips to Ironbridge Gorge and the Malverns.


Publications (click here to go to the SGS publications page)

The SGS Proceedings are the vehicle for publication (initially on the web, followed by printed copies for library distribution).

A series of GeoTrails has also been prepared, in part to support the workshops and fieldtrips, and in part as self discovery guides. These include:


Responsibilities (click here to see which organisations comprise the Steering Group)

This has been a co-ordinated effort involving the Shropshire Geological Society, the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club Geology Section, the Ludlow Museum Resource Centre (part of the Shropshire County Museums Service), the Herefordshire Heritage Service (the County museum service), the Hereford and Worcester Earth Heritage Trust, the Ludlow Research Group and the West Midlands Regional Group of the Geological Society.

The events have been coordinated by a Steering Group, with each component activity being undertaken by a single constituent member organisation, thereby clarifying who has been responsible for the financial and practical arrangements.

The Steering Group met bi-monthly and reported to the constituent organisations on a regular basis with the Minutes being issued in electronic form.


2007 Copyright

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