We're pleased to announce that this year's ProGEO International Symposium Pre-Meeting fieldtrip will visit the Black Country UNESCO Global Geopark in England's West Midlands. By partnering with our friends in our nearest Geopark, attendees will also have the opportunity to visit an even wider selection of geosites, alongside those in Charnwood Forest that will be visited as part of the post-Meeting fieldtrip. Led by expert guides Graham Worton and Colin Prosser, the one day field trip is an exciting exposition of the Palaeozoic geology of the region, and the impact it had on shaping the communities in the area, and the Industrial Revolution globally.
Classic Geosites of the Black Country UNESCO Global Geopark
Sunday 8th October 2023
Convener: Graham Worton (Geopark Lead and Keeper of Geology at Dudley Council) & Colin Prosser (Principal Specialist in Geodiversity at Natural England)
Departure from: Central Loughborough, 9 am. Terms: Optional event, not included in the registration fee.
Fees: £79 – The fees include the price for coach travel, paid entrances, English-speaking guided tours, lunch, dinner, and refreshments. We recommend delegates on this field trip arrange accommodation in Loughborough for the nights before and after the field trip - accommodation is not included in the field trip fee. Book through the registration system.
Participants: Max number 49.
An introduction to the geology, mining heritage and palaeontology of the Black Country UNESCO Global Geopark. Exploring the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic highlights of the geology and an insight into its important role in the Industrial Revolution. The itinerary includes:
Locality 1, Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust. This Geosite is an underground boat excursion into the Silurian limestone strata of the Castle Hill anticline – a palaeozoic inlier within the Coal Measures strata of the coalfield. Temperature down at the mine tunnels at this time of year can be as low as 5°C: We recommend you to take a warm coat.
Locality 2, Wrens Nest National Nature reserve – A tour of the famous geological Silurian – Homerian strata. A classic palaeontological locality and a key locality associated with Murchison’s definition of the Silurian System in 1839. This site has been significant in evolving many urban Geoconservation practices in the UK
Locality 3, Saltwells National Nature reserve – A tour of key exposures in the newest geological National Nature Reserve in the UK. Here the geology of the Carboniferous Coal Measures of the coal field will be explored and the late palaeozoic earth movements and basaltic igneous intrusions.
Locality 4, Blue Rock Quarry designated Site of Importance for Nature Conservation to examine some classic intrusion features and a discussion of the role of local community groups in Geoconservation in the Geopark.
Locality 5, Barr Beacon Quarries & Viewpoint – Extensive exposures of red Permo-Triass sandstones, breccias and pebble beds and a discussion of the ‘Purple Horizons’ project and its integrated approach to Geoconservation with ecological habitat restoration/ Nature Recovery.
(possible additional locality if time allows and as a trip closing photo opportunity Locality 6, Brownhills mining sculptures Silver Miner Sculpture (‘Jigger’) – and the Walsall Wood Colliery Headgear sculpture.
Before returning to Loughborough by coach, there will be an evening meal and networking opportunity.