Richmond Park Geotrail 12 October 2016
For the last few years the London Geodiversity Partnership has chosen Earth Science Week to run a public Geotrail. This year we joined forces with the Friends of Richmond Park to walk round looking for small exposures, views and springs to discuss the geology of this very interesting area. There are four different rock types that we discussed and the walk has been written up as a geotrail that will shortly be published on the London Geodiversity Partnership website. About 30 people attended and seemed enthusiastic about the geology underfoot. We hope to return for a repeat excursion in 2017.
Photos from John Lock (Friends of Richmond Park):
Max Lancaster of the Friends of Richmond Park talking to us about the history of King Henry’s Mound viewpoint. We also discussed the geology of the views to St Paul’s in the east through the ‘pinhole’ protected view, and to Windsor Castle in the west.
Di Clements talking about the Pen Ponds lying on a fault line through the park. As ever, new information on the digging of the ponds was gleaned from the audience.
8 October 2016 - Riddlesdown Geoconservation Day
The London Geodiversity Partnership made the large Chalk Quarry at Riddlesdown the focus of its conservation day for 2016. The quarry is owned and managed by the City of London Corporation and Matt Johnson prepared the base for a bonfire for the face we were to clear. He also kindly provided tea and coffee.As in previous years we worked in conjunction with the London Branch of the Open University Geological Society and invited members of other London geological groups to join us. Before starting work, Liam Gallagher, a chalk expert, talked to the group about the chalk in general and put the importance of the pit in context . This is what the face in Riddlesdown looked like before we cleared it. The event appropriately fell during Earth Science Week, improving access for research and study. Look at this lovely clear face at the end of the day's hard work! Well done, volunteers - much better access!!
For more photographs of the day including the marvellous bonfire see the LGP Flickr account:www.flickr.com/photos/londongeopartnership/albums.
A new App on London’s building stones, ‘London Pavement Geology' is now available to download free from the iTunes App store, definitely for iPhone & iPad and for Android platforms too. It archives well over 1000 building stone localities within the M25. You can view these from the App and also submit new locations.
Both can be downloaded from our website via the links: http://londonpavementgeology.co.uk/mobileapp/
05/2016 New access at Gilbert’s Pit, Charlton unveiled on 18th May 2016
Gilbert’s Pit SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) at Charlton in Southeast London is one of a number of former quarries worked in this area for their sand, gravel and chalk. This pit was primarily worked for the Thanet Sand used for moulding at the Woolwich Arsenal foundries and glass manufacture. Notified as an SSSI in 1953 it represents the only permanent exposure in the Woolwich area of the Woolwich Formation.
Steps have been built up the east side of the quarry face. They represent the result of extensive partnership working between the London Geodiversity Partnership, Natural England and the Royal Borough of Greenwich. The steps were jointly funded with a £10,000 grant from Natural England and £1,300 from Royal Borough of Greenwich who has overseen the project, providing a new gate, done tree felling and scrub clearance.
The LGP has organised volunteer workdays and given technical expertise, advising on which section to improve and helped scope the geotechnical survey undertaken by Capita Symonds.
The steps were opened on Wednesday 18 May 2016 attended by representatives of Natural England, the London Geodiversity Partnership and Royal Borough of Greenwich Parks, Estates and Open Spaces Officers. The steps were “unveiled” in a ribbon-cutting event by Cllr John Fahy.
The photographs show the robust steps that will be able to be used by schools, geologists and be essential training for construction engineers. It provides a rare opportunity to encounter and understand the complex sediments that underlie much of London that can present significant challenges in strategic developments such as Crossrail. The platforms offer views of the disused workings where information boards are to be placed telling of the geology that can be seen.
Click here to download a pdf with more details and photos.
Geology on the Underground
Open University Geological Society members are actively on the lookout for ‘Stone on the Underground’.
If you know of any stations where decorative stone has been used, do please contribute by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a list of what has been spotted so far see List of Stations checked: www.lougs.org.uk/localgeo/underground.htm.
The Guide to London's Geological Sites is now available here. Over 50 important geological sites are described and can be explored further using this link. A complete pdf of sites can also be downloaded.
GEOLOGICAL DISPLAY IN HIGHGATE WOOD
Geology and its uses in Highgate Wood and Queen’s Wood
A small display is on public view in the information hut beside the restaurant in Highgate Wood. Four story boards tell the story of the rocks beneath the local area and how they have been utilised in the past. A Romano-British pottery was discovered in Highgate Wood and an experimental kiln produced pots using the underlying Claygate Beds at the top of the London Clay. Flint debitage has been found and Highgate Wood was once known as Gravel Pit Wood. Highgate Wood forms a plateau whereas the topography of Queen’s Wood is very incised. The display includes minerals and fossils found in the London Clay as well as one of the experimental pots made on site.
Click here to download more details.
Geoconservation at Chalky Dell
The London Geodiversity Partnership and London Branch of the Open University Geological Society arranged a geoconservation day at Chalky Dell. They were joined by members of London-based geology groups and local Conservation Volunteers from Lesnes Abbey and Shooters Hill.
Click here for more details and photos of the event.
The Geology of London GA Guide covers ten Itineraries from within the M25 to provide snapshots of the rocks underlying London. It aims to cover all the rocks types that crop out within the area.
Several SSSIs including Harefield, Charlton, Abbey Wood, and Quaternary sites in east London are described. Chalk is described from the magnificent quarry at Riddlesdown, Croydon as well as underground at Chislehurst and Pinner. Geomorphology walks and the Geological Illustrations of Crystal Palace Park are also described. It is a multi-authored guide drawing on the best authority for the locations chosen.
Hyde Park Rocks:
Visitors to London's Hyde Park can admire a giant sculpture formed of two glacial igneous granite boulders perched precariously one on top of the other near the Serpentine Gallery.
London might not be an obvious destination for fossil lovers but here, Issy Gilbert, a palaeontology PhD student from Imperial College London, reveals the ancient world that can be found at some of London's most famous destinations. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19574619
The Ilford Mammoth Plaque
In the 1860s numerous Pleistocene mammalian remains were discovered in Uphall brick-pit in Ilford. Amongst the finds there was a complete skull of a mammoth which is still on display in the Natural History Museum, London.
A plaque on Ilford Methodist church, Ilford Lane, which commemorated these finds had been installed during the 1951 Festival of Britain, but was stolen in January 2012.
In July 2012, a replacement plaque was installed by the British Pakistani Christian Association during the run-up to the London Olympics. Guest speakers at the unveiling were: Professor Adrian Lister (Natural History Museum London); William George (GeoEssex); and Terry Quirk (Ilford Mammoth Project).
Contributors to the design and text for the monument included: Ian Dowling - Local Historian for Ilford Central Library; Peter Collins ( London GeoDiversity Partnership); and the Natural History Museum Pictures Department and Palaeontology Department.
Glacial erratic found in East London
In June 2011, when members of the London Geodiversity Partnership and GeoEssex, were visiting Marks Warren Quarry near Romford, East London, they discovered a boulder that had been found within the sands and gravels of the quarry.
Subsequent examination of the boulder by Graham Ward of GeoEssex confirmed that it was a glacial erratic composed of an igneous rock, dolerite, transported to the site by the Anglian ice sheet, some 450,000 year ago. The characteristics of the rock, which appears to be a quartz-hypersthene dolerite, indicate that it may well have been derived from the Great Whin Sill, a prominent scarp in Northumberland, much of which is composed of this rock type.
During the Anglian glaciation the ice sheet spread as far south as London bringing with it rocks from the north of England and, if the petrology of the rock is confirmed, this boulder would be one of the furthest travelled, having been transported some 300 miles from its origin. This boulder would then have been washed down into the Thames catchment, once the ice had retreated, and deposited in the sands and gravels of the Black Park terrace, found at the quarry.
Due to the kind efforts of the quarry operators, Brett Aggregates Ltd, the 0.9 tonne boulder has recently been transported a few miles to the Essex Wildlife Trust’s visitor centre at Bedfords Park, Havering, where it is on public display. Only a short journey this time, compared with its geological history!
More information on the Marks Warren quarry site can be found in London’s Foundation at (http://www.londongeopartnership.org.uk/publications.html)
The London Geodiversity Partnership attended a conference on the Engineering Geology of the Olympics, and presented a poster that can be downloaded here.
Consequently we are now working with the Environment Agency to publicise the new geology found in the Olympic Park as a result of all the ground investigations.
Newly revised and updated, the latest version of the London Foundations Report has been published.
Please click here for more information.