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.


March 2015

Saturday 8th March: Field Course: The Geology of the Area Around Wick - A Saturday Dayschool.

April 2015

Monday 13th April, for 10 weeks, until 6th July (not 4th, 11th or 25th May): Geological Maps and Mapping. How to read geological maps, constructing cross sections, structural summary maps. Maps from abroad. Some of the time spent will be in the field collecting data for the drawing of a geological map (this could be over a weekend away). Held at Wynstones School, Stroud Road, Whaddon, Gloucester from 7.30-9.30pm on Mondays. Cost £70.

May 2015

Saturday 14th May: Field Course: Oxenton, Dixton, Alderton, Nottingham- Geology of the North Cotswolds Outliers. A Saturday Dayschool.

23rd-30th May: Field trip to Brittany, based at Erquy, near St Malo, looking at complex Cadomian geology and cover rocks. There are still some vacancies for this course, however, accommodation would need to be arranged in the town.

June 2015

Tues 9th June - Tues 21st July: Field Course: Geology and Landscape in Gloucestershire (evening field course Tuesdays 7-9). First meeting point:- Cleeve Hill – small quarry Car Park on Common, beyond golf club entrance (SO989271) at 7pm Tuesday 9th June. Further sessions on website, separate leaflet, and/or by contacting Dave Green.

Saturday 27th June: Field Course: Geology of the Woolhope Area. A Saturday Dayschool.

Dr. Nick Chidlaw

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.

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

Dr. Nick Chidlaw is  currently offering two 1–day courses for March 2015. These are indoor-based, and describe field areas Nick has run courses to in the past. One of them describes a particularly striking example of volcanic geology in east central Scotland, the other focuses on the diverse strata deposited during the Ice Age in part of the west of England, many of which are only occasionally exposed. The courses may be attractive particularly to people who are not in a position to visit field locations, e.g. insufficient time available because of family/work commitments, health problems, or may be interested in the opportunity to study lithologies from exposures that are no longer extant.

March 2015

Over One Hundred Volcanic Vents: Fife and Lothian, Scotland
Saturday 7th March. 10.00 am – 5.00 pm

From latest Devonian times, through the Carboniferous period and into Early Permian times, the crust of what is now northern Britain was firstly stretched, later compressed and finally stretched again by plate tectonic forces. These forces caused movement on major geological fault systems, releasing pressure in the crust and allowing magmas to rise from inside the earth, both into the adjacent crust and onto the surface above. In Scotland, from c. 350 million years ago during the early Carboniferous, this igneous activity continued episodically for the next 100 million years producing, besides intrusive rocks such as the enormous Midland Valley Sill-complex, over 6,600 cubic kms of lavas. Most of the magma generated was of ‘mafic’ (magnesium and iron rich) composition, crystallizing as dolerites and basalts, and associated pyroclastics. During this time, the crust that became the British Isles was located in equatorial latitudes, and central Scotland was occupied mostly by swamp, lake and river systems in which abundant plant debris produced carbon-rich sediments. The interaction of the magmatic activity with these sediments and environments produced some striking results, including the formation of curious carbonate rocks called ‘white trap’, and catastrophic explosions of ‘Surtseyan’-type when magma erupted up into water. Across the eastern part of the county of Fife, an impressive number of discrete volcanic centres (over 100 recognised) occur, many along the coast where their interior ‘architecture’ can be examined in excellent exposures. This indoor day describes cryptovents and collapsed tuff-rings from the Fife and East Lothian coasts, sub-volcanic plugs at the Lomond Hills and North Berwick, basalt and spilite lavas at Kinghorn, and the volcanic complex at Arthur’s Seat, overlooking central Edinburgh.

A handout outlining the day’s programme, and a list of optional suggested reading, will be provided on the course. No prior knowledge of geology or the study area is assumed.

The Ice Age in the Severn Vale and Cotswolds
Sunday 8th March. 10.00 am – 5.00 pm.

The Quaternary corresponds to the geological period we are currently living in; it includes what is popularly known as ‘The Ice Age’, together with the much milder climatic episode that began when the last glaciers in the British Isles disappeared, and which continues to the present day. The Quaternary period is currently accepted internationally to have begun about 2.6 million years ago, and is divided into two major parts: the Pleistocene epoch (corresponding to ‘The Ice Age’), and the post-glacial Holocene epoch, divided at about 8,000 years ago. Detailed studies show that The Ice Age was in fact composed of cold or glacial conditions alternating with interglacial climates as warm, or warmer, than today, each of these alternations lasting tens of thousands of years. In Britain as elsewhere, this climatic ‘restlessness’ has had dramatic consequences: as ice sheets have grown and retreated, they have changed sea levels, caused extensive erosion of the earth’s crust, movement and deposition of the resulting sediments, caused the crust itself to sink and rise, river systems to drastically change their courses as well as downcutting or infilling their valleys, and forced animal and plant life to migrate, leading in some cases to extinction.

Erosion in the British Isles has been very extensive during the Quaternary, so that deposits older than about 600,000 years are very fragmentary. In the uplands such as in Scotland and Wales, repeated glacial action has successively modified landforms and removed older Quaternary sediments, resulting in a limited legacy from which to deduce events. In the lower lands of eastern and southern England, where glaciers reached their maximum extents, the landforms and sediments are better preserved, and the oldest and most diverse record can be found. The Severn Vale and Cotswolds, lying within this tract, has a great variety of Quaternary landforms and deposits, developed over a wide time range. On this course you will be introduced to these landforms, including anomalous river drainage patterns, dry valleys, river terraces, estuarine platforms and landslides; and deposits laid down by rivers, glaciers, freeze-thaw action, springs, and the Severn Estuary. These deposits are mostly not normally exposed, but some become temporarily so by man e.g. for sand and gravel extraction, and ground engineering projects; the tutor has examined a number of these, and their details will be described. Course highlights include the Cotswold scarp being one of the most extensive areas of landslides in the British Isles, and evidence for the Severn Vale not existing prior to the beginning of the Quaternary.

A handout outlining the day’s programme, and a list of optional suggested reading, would be provided on the course. No prior knowledge of geology or the study area is assumed.

Further Information and Bookings

Each course will comprise powerpoint-based lectures, together with examination of hand specimens of relevant mineral and rock types, and published geological maps of the field areas. The hand specimens have been collected by the tutor in the field areas described.

The venue would be in the Buckingham Room (single storey building by the car park) at The Chantry, 52 Castle Street, Thornbury, South Glos. BS35 1HB. Tel: (01454) 414268. See venue website for further details, including location map: On each course attendees would bring their own packed lunch and other refreshments, or go into the town for lunch.

These two 1–day courses have a fee of £25.00 each. If you would like to attend either or both of these offered courses, please forward a cheque, payable to me to: Dr N. Chidlaw, 8, Silver Street, Dursley, Glos. GL11 4ND. Please provide me with your postal address.

Please note: these courses are to run on the same weekend, but are independent of each other; you can enrol on both if you wish to, or one of them, according to your interests / availability.

The deadline for the minimum number (10) of enrolments is Saturday 7th February (4 weeks before the courses are due to run). Maximum number of attendees on each course 30. If the minimum number for each course is reached by this deadline, the arrangements will be able to continue, if not, the course(s) not reaching viability will be cancelled, and fees received will be returned to those who sent them in, soon after. Enrolments above the minimum numbers for each course will be able to continue for up to 1 week before it is due to run.


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
Gloucestershire Geoconservation Trust.  Registered Charity Number: 1115272. © 2015 All Rights Reserved.