Gloucestershire Geology Trust


Gloucestershire Geology Trust Courses


Geostudies is run by Dave Green, a self-confessed geological enthusiast, who simply likes to pass it on! He has taught Geology at various levels, from O level to undergraduate, since 1974, at various institutions; secondary schools in Gloucester and Ross, Further Education Colleges in Stroud, Swindon, and the Forest of Dean, the WEA, the Open University and, for the last 12 years, the University of Bristol. He is an all-round geologist, but inclines towards agreeing that he is keener on the “hard rock” side of geology (older sediments, igneous and metamorphic rocks, geological structures etc.) but has a more than passable knowledge of soft rocks and their fossils, and is very interested in Quaternary geology and the development of landforms. It would be fair to describe him as “laid back” and patient in his approach, and keen to make sure that students are grasping ideas in a subject that can sometimes be fairly inaccessible, often due to jargon. Above all he is enthusiastic about the subject, something that he hopes will rub off!

Contact Dave Green – 01594 860858.


Geology and Landscape of Gloucestershire and surroundings A weekly field-based introductory course.

No previous knowledge of geology is assumed

Tuesday evenings 10th June to 22nd July 2014
(see dates below or download calendar here)

The aim of this field-based course is to take you towards an understanding of local scenery. We will look at the components - the highly diverse rocks and their structure; and processes - weathering, slope formation and erosion - which have combined to produce this equally varied landscape - the materials from which the scenery has been sculpted and the processes that have acted upon them since the area emerged from the sea 65 million years ago (about the same time that the dinosaurs became extinct) No special equipment is necessary, apart from stout footwear and possibly waterproofs - although we will hopefully have seven balmy summer evenings! Meetings are held on Tuesdays each week meeting at 7.00 pm, finishing at 9.00 pm or later (whenever the party feels in need of refreshment !!) at the following meeting points

Cost: £50 for 7 week course or £9 per session

For full details see the Geostudies website ( or contact Dave Green using the contacts below:

Tel: 01594 860858

Summary of Geostudies Geology Courses and Field Trips 2014

**Get involved this summer in a range of fantastic day courses that Dave Green is offering!**

Starting 28th April 2014:
The Geology of Ireland
A 10 week course until 14th July (not 5th or 26th May). Held at Wynstones School, Whaddon, Gloucester from 7.30-9.30pm on Mondays. Cost £60

10th May 2014:
Field Course - The Geology of the area around Wick
A Saturday dayschool

10th June 2014:
Leckhampton Hill
A famous local viewpoint, beauty spot, The Devil’s Chimney, and site of the quarrying of much of the stone that was used to build Cheltenham. Part of the Middle Jurassic Cotswold escarpment. An excellent place to survey the geology and landscape of the Severn Vale, and appreciate the form of the Cotswold cuesta.

Meet at the small Car Park / roadside at top of Leckhampton Hill by entrance to Hill Farm SO951179 at 7pm

7th June 2014
One of the finest exposures of the sedimentary rocks at the top of the Triassic and base of the Jurassic systems. A river/sea cliff used by the 1966 Severn Bridge as its eastern abutment, and also the terminal for the ferry which preceded it. The tides are very low on this evening and we may be able to see the underlying Carboniferous rocks, upon which the main supporting pillars of the suspension bridge are mounted. An excellent place to find minerals and fossils, including those from the famous “Rhaetic Bone Bed”.

Meet at the roadside on the minor road from Aust to Old Passage SO 564888. Take the A403 towards Avonmouth from Junction 1 on M48, then first right, almost opposite the turning to Aust village. Follow this road down to the flats near the river, where you can park at the side of the road, as far N as possible

24th June 2014
The south west part of the Forest of Dean has been extensively exploited in the past for its geological wealth found in the rocks of Carboniferous age – coal, iron ore and building stone. We shall undertake a short circular walk to examine the remains of this exploitation, now partially returned to nature.

Meet at a layby/roadside verge on the north side of the loop road that runs straight on where the road from Sling to Bream turns right. GR SO 591072 (the entrance to an old track leading to Little Drybrook)

28th June 2014:
Field Course - Geology of the May Hill area A Saturday dayschool

1st July 2014

The common is a favourite spot for many in the Stroud area and beyond. It used to be famed for the quality of its fossils, and was once extensively quarried for building and walling stone – most excavations are now filled in or are used as hazards on the venerable golf course! It lies on beds (Fullers Earth series) that are above the Cotswold Limestone (Inferior Oolite) forming the main escarpment. We will also look at the Inferior Oolite, here outcropping on the valley sides, and having been worked by tunnels driven into the freestone. Meet on the Common at the top of Brimscombe Hill SO859015, on the road leading NE from Tom Long’s Pos

8th July 2014
Leadon Valley
The River Leadon rises near Ledbury and enters the Severn just north of Gloucester. Like many of the county’s streams, it ignores the structural trend of the underlying geology and flows from Old Red Sandstone to New Red Sandstone and on to Lower Jurassic rocks. As it does so, the form of its valley changes radically. We will look at this by means of a drive through narrow country lanes, with several short stops.

Meet on the roadside near Dymock Cricket Club – a narrow road leading right off the main road (B4215) from Newent to Dymock, where it turns sharply left on entering the village outskirts (SO 706310)

5th July 2014
The Malvern Fault crosses the Severn near Sharpness, and continues south where it produces an anticline – syncline pair of folds that bring older rocks to the surface of the Severn Vale. At its centre the syncline forms the Coalpit Heath coalfield, but around its outer edge there are ridges in the underlying(heavily quarried) Carboniferous Limestone series, which existed 200Ma ago in Triassic times, and were buried by Triassic sediments, only now to be re-exhumed by modern erosion.

Meet at the laneside in a copse along the narrow lane leading north from Cromhall village towards Parkend SO 696909

22nd July 2014
British Camp (Herefordshire Beacon)
The Malverns are a narrow strip of the oldest rocks in England that have been brought to the surface along the Malvern Fault. In the process, they have been extensively shattered and altered, and the then overlying rocks were deformed and folded as the Malvern block was pushed upwards and westwards. In the course of a circular walk taking in the top of British Camp, we will examine some of the typical rocks and see the effects of the deformation on the surrounding area

Meet in the large (pay) car park at the foot of British Camp, opposite the hotel on A449 SO 763404




Details of the courses being run by Nick are shown below. Unless otherwise stated, for more information, contact Nick on

Saturday 29th June 2013:
I am proposing to run the course detailed here if there is sufficient interest. The fee is £25 per person with cheques payable to Nick Chidlaw, and posted to 8 Silver Street, Dursley, Glos. GL11 4ND. Maximum number of attendees 30.

"Geology and Landforms on and from Cleeve Hill, Cheltenham"
The imposing plateau country that rises east of Cheltenham to the highest point of the Cotswolds, affords spectacular views and contrasting landscapes all around. A circular 4 mile walk, slowly paced, and mostly on the level (some steep slopes), will take you around Cleeve Hill with frequent stops to examine features such as the geology of limestone quarries, and landslides formed at the end of the lst glaciation. Distant landforms, including the Malvern Hills, and their underlying geology, will be explained. No previous knowledge of geology, or of the locations studied is necessary. A handout outlining the day's programme, including location sketch maps, optional reading list, geological history, and written logs detailing the Middle Jurassic strata on Cleeve Hill will be forwarded in advance of the course to those enrolled. Please note that you will need to: arrange your own transport; bring your own packed lunch and any refreshments; wear strong footwear with good tread and ankle support and have waterproof clothing with you in case the weather is poor; bring a hard hat (if you don't have one, let me know and I'll provide you with one for the day); be insured against accident for the duration of the course.

Friday 5th July - Sunday 7th July
Graphic Logging Course Proposal, North Cotswolds, Gloucestershire

This proposal is intended for OU students who wish to supplement their existing experience of the techniques of graphic logging. It was first run in 2002, following interest shown by students who attended an introductory geological mapping course I ran in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire in March 2000. It has been run successfully several times since.

The tutor is a geologist with 30 years of post-graduate experience in teaching, research, publishing and industrial consulting. As a research student, he studied the sedimentology of Early Jurassic strata in the Cotswolds, carried out at the former St Paul and St Mary College Cheltenham (now the University of Gloucestershire), and the University of Bristol. During this time he taught undergraduates thin section petrography and field mapping skills (Arran, Lake District, Lizard). In the late 1980's he worked as a part time OU tutor on the Science Foundation course in Bristol. He has taught adult education courses for over 20 years, mostly during his time at Bristol University, and in recent years for Cardiff University.

Graphic logging is widely used in academic and industrial geology as a means to reveal and succinctly communicate a wealth of sedimentary and stratigraphic information, and make it more easiily assimilated than the alternative written form. It is an important field skill for any student of geology to attain.

The proposed graphic logging course would run for 3 days, a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and would involve the first 2 days in the field, with the third day indoors drawing up a fair copy of the log, together with final discussion of the results. The central purpose of the course would be for students to gain extensive practise and thus confidence in the skills of graphic logging: systematically measuring thicknesses of rock units, correlating parts of the exposure being examined, determining lithologies, sedimentary structures, fossil fauna/flora and rock grain size; the whole of this data being recorded and finally compiled into a graphic log during the indoor day. The aim would be to establish, as far as the field techniques allow, the essential sedimentological characteristics of the full lithological succession exposed in the study location, by concentrating on the above process. Working out the rock and fossil types, and other features, would not be required - this would involve a longer course and a wider range of skills. Instead, such details would be provided and referred to during the course so that the available time is spent concentrating fully on the logging process.

The proposed study location is a temporarily inactive quarry in the north Cotswold Hills, Gloucestershire, excavated in entirely sedimentary rocks. The strata are essentially horizontal and undisturbed such as by geological faults; the quarry design is one of low faces and numerous benches, affording safe and extensive access. The full thickness of strata exposed is about 30 metres, in a variety of Middle Jurassic shallow marine lithologies (limestones and clays), sedimentary structures and fossils. Within the succession are weathered and karstified surfaces and associated sediments, indicating temporary exposure of the sea bed as land. In the 1980's dinosaur and other terrestrial reptile remains were excavated from here.

The third day of the course, during which collected field data is transferred under guidance onto graph paper to produce the graphic log, would be held in a teaching room in a local education centre (probably a nearby secondary school), and the results discussed using digitised slides of the tutor's own logging and photographs of the exposures. No marking of the work would be undertaken; there will be no 'pass' or 'fail' grading. The course would be essentially one in which skills are practised and the results discussed, each student judging for him/herself what they have learned and where future improvement could be made.

If the course runs, I will forward to each enrolled student in advance a handout on course logistics: meeting times and places, access, aspects of Health and Safety, clothing and geological conservation, advice notes on the logging process (including book list), and relevant sedimentological data. Graph paper for the construction of the graphic log, and a copy of the log's key, will be given out to each student on the third day.

Each student must arrange their own transport, meals and accommodation, provide suitable warm and waterproof clothing, boots and hard hat. Students attending the course beyond commuting distance from home would be encouraged to obtain accommodation within reasonable proximity to the field location, so that they may meet up during the evenings for
social or study purposes. Students would be required to bring field notebooks, pencils, (including coloured pencils), an A4 writing pad, ruler and eraser. Drawing up a graphic log requires close work, so a small electric desk lamp should be brought and plugged in during the indoor day.

An assumption of the course is that students will have been studying geology for some time, and will have much of the above geological equipment. Some of it (such as hammers) could be shared. If students do not have any particular item, it can be mail ordered from specialist suppliers, eg: Geosupplies Ltd in Sheffield. Tel: 0114 2455746.

To provide enough tutor attenton to students on the course, a maximum number of students would be 25, and a minimum of 10 to make the course viable. Recruitment would be on a first come, first served basis, and fees would only be returned at the tutor's discretion if the minimum number of students is not reached. The tuition fee is £65 per student. Please send cheques payable to Dr Nick Chidlaw at the address above. Students would be covered by insurance against accident for the duration of the course which will run on the 5th - 7th July.


Glos Uni
Undergraduate Courses - Geography
Honours Degree

The course emphasises the relevance of geography today and for tomorrow’s world. You’ll explore these and other issues in developed and developing world contexts.
Bringing together human and physical geography, the range of innovative modules allows you to specialise as the course progresses.
You’ll work in well-equipped laboratories and participate in fieldtrips to European countries and beyond. Recent trips have included Uganda, the Swiss Alps and Spain as well as numerous local destinations.

The degree gives you the skills and expertise relevant to key employment sectors. Education, geographic information systems, climate research, environmental management and sustainable development, are just some of the areas where graduates are now making major contributions.

The staff are passionate, committed educators and include many national award winners and internationally recognised authors and researchers.

Click on the University logo to visit their website.



AS & 'A' Level Geology
Worcester Sixth Form College, Spetchley Road, Worcester, WR5 2LU
Tel: 01905 362600
GCSE and A Level Geology
Sir Thomas Rich's School, Oakleaze, Longlevens, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL2 0LF
Tel: 01452 338400
A Level Geology (only offered if there is enough demand)
Cheltenham Bournside School & Sixth Form College, Warden Hill Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL51 3EF
Tel: 01242 235555
AS & A Level Geology
John Kyrle High School, Ledbury Road, Ross on Wye, Herefordshire, HR9 7ET
Tel: 01989 764358
AS Level Geology                        
Cirencester College, FosseWay, Stroud Road, Cirencester, GL7 1XA
Tel: 01285 640994
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