Gloucestershire Geology Trust


Gloucestershire Geology Trust Courses


Geostudies has been in existence since 1996, and has been delivering classroom and field based geological courses up to the present. In an environment, over the past twenty years, of shrinking academic educational/recreational opportunities for adult students, it has been a vehicle for their delivery, particularly in the Stroud and Gloucester areas. With the recent changes in government funding, popular university extra-mural classes have suffered so there there are even fewer openings for such courses. It is hoped that Geostudies can at least partially satisfy the evident demand.

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.


Summary Guide to Geostudies Geology Courses and Field Trips 2012-2013

For full details see the Geostudies website ( or contact Dave Green using the contacts below:
Tel: 01594 860858

Starting 26th September 2013:
Understanding Geology around Ross-on-Wye and the Forest of Dean

A 10 week course introducing you to the subject via the evidence for the geological history of the area between Hereford and Monmouth, Abergavenny and Newent. Starts on Thursday 26th September from 6.30 - 8.30 (not 31st October). Held at John Kyrle High School, Ross-on-Wye. Cost is £45. Contact Paul Mason on 01989 760399 to enrol

Starting 16th September 2013:
Carboniferous Geology

10 week course until 2nd December (not 28th October or 4th November). Held at Wynstones School, Whaddon, Gloucester from 7.30-9.30pm on Mondays. Cost £60

Saturday 12th October 2013:
Field Course

The geology of the Tintern area. A Saturday dayschool

29th November - 1st December 2013:
Carboniferous geology of the Peak District
£30 deposit to be received by the end of October.

23rd December 2013:
Annual Geological Reunion Dinner at Watersmeet, Hartpury

7.30 for 8pm

Starting 13th January 2014:
The Early Earth
A 10 week course (not 17th Feb) until 31st March. Held at Wynstones School, Whaddon, Gloucester from 7.30-9.30pm on Mondays. Cost £60. If there is demand, further classes could be run at Ross and/or Thornbury from January

15th February 2014:
Field Course - Borderline Geology? The area around English Bicknor and Welsh Bicknor
A Saturday dayschool
A sa

8th March 2014:
The Geology of the area around Wick - A Saturday dayschool

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

June 2014:
Possible Field Course - Ireland
One week, to take place in late May or early June. Will take the form of a traverse along the south coast, or from SE to NW, or along the N coast. Or, could be based at two sites to sample a range of geology.

Starting 10th June 2014:
Field Course - Geology and Landscape in Gloucestershire
Evenings 7.00-9.00pm, Tues 10th June - Tues 22nd July. First meeting point: small car park at Leckhampton Hill (by entrance to Hill Farm)
on Tues 3rd July at 7.00pm
For full details of the further sessions, see the Geostudies website at ( or contact Dave Green

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



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.


Unless otherwise stated contact GGT for more details on 01452 864438 or

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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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