Geo-Amble 24th July 17

A look at Trail 2 around Martley, HERE for a link to the guide.

Trail 2 is the shortest of the three circular geology walks in the parish.  Leaflets are available at the dispenser opposite the Crown.  In two and a half miles the route takes in a huge span of rock history, from the more recent deposits at the start and over the Nubbins to our most ancient (igneous) formations at Martley Rock.

What a glorious evening, so lucky were with the warm sunny weather and the fields in their golden cloths of barley, wheat and indeed oats, no rye tho, looked just beautiful.

Ian (Fairchild) explained the river deposits of fine sands interspersed with bulkier gravels and pebbles brought down in a storm lithified (turned into stone) from the early Triassic period approx. 250 million years ago.  Deposits from a large dry, desert like continent with monsoon rains, when the land was north of the equator (think the Sahara of today).  HERE is a note on cross bedding and HERE is an illustration of a braided river system.

We traversed up into the field above the village with terrific views all around, I never tire of this spot–East across the ancient, wide river valley (HERE is an illustrated guide on its formation) now occupied by the river Severn, to the Cotswolds (Jurassic limestones), NE to the Lickeys (largely Ordovician), the twin peaks of the Clent Hills (from the Permian), North to Penny and Rodge Hills with beyond, Woodbury and Abberley Hills (Silurian), NW to Clee Hills (the tops being a sill of hard, igneous rock forced up into the Carboniferous surrounds around 300 million years ago), West over the deep valley of the River Teme, to the Bromyard plateau, a dome of sandstone and mud/marl deposits from the Devonian period (think deserts formed south of the equator as today) and, in end on view South, the upstanding igneous front of the Malvern Hills.  What a panorama!  If you wish to see how the continents have moved over time, try EarthViewer a free app.  That helps to interprete the mystery of this slowly moving jigsaw and you can always look up weird names such as Ordovician to see where they came from and what they mean.

We followed a track along the edge of the steep river valley, above ancient orchards, skirting the line of the East Malvern fault, crossed the lane so meeting the Worcestershire Way and thence down to Martley Rock. Here Ian and I tried to explain how it was that five geological periods had ended up within 50m, sometimes with older deposits on top of younger ones and with great gaps in the sequence such that major eras were missing, for example no Ordovician, no Devonian.  To finish, having reached the allotted time of an hour and a half, we took the old sunken lane down to Martley and back to the cars at the hall.  Next week we plan to finish the trail by visiting the church and the Chantry geology garden then maybe venture to rocks near the Talbot at Knightwick.  Thanks to those who came along on Monday, hopefully a good turn out again next week–all welcome.

 So, time next week a little later, 6.15pm at Martley Memorial hall to complete the rest of today’s amble then assuming time, probably go down to the Talbot and up to local quarries on Ankerdine but Mike and I need to recce those first.
Links I promised from tonight:
Martley Rock on TVGS site HERE–lots to get your teeth into here
Plan of Martley Rock site temporary trenches HERE
Martley Rocks App notes on TVGS site HERE
Apps for the Geopark way HERE

Mike Brook’s Martley Rock App

It’s here and it’s FREE! A new app from Brooks Design, to complement the 17 that cover the length of the GeoParkway.  The new one builds on its predecessors, containing an absolute wealth of information and when you try it first time please do NOT think that you had seen it all, because I can assure you, you will not have done.  MartleyRocksFlyerThe full colour, GPS located, interactive Android and Apple based app presents maps, information panels, sections, photos and much much more to allow an understanding of and glimpse into how this amazing area situated in the parish of Martley came to be.

Search for MartleyRocks in your app store.

Thank you Mike of Brooks Design, you continue to develop this unique teaching resource; a picture it is said is worth a thousand words, these apps make libraries redundant.  Herefordshire and Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust and ourselves are so very fortunate to have access to you and to these tools.

The app is a component of a much larger project “Voyages in Deep Time” :A bid is shortly to be submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund, developed by the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust.  The crux of the project is the development of apps (for smartphones/tablets) to engage principally, but not exclusively, a younger audience in the deep time heritage of our planet, with a focus on places in the counties of Herefordshire & Worcestershire. One of those sites of course being Martley!  A number of high profile organisations have kindly provided their backing and future support for the project. The aims of the project are summarised as:

Connect people, primarily young people, with the earth heritage of their surroundings and build appreciation that in the very distant past this place, their home, has been forged through many epic changes in environment, life forms and location.  As a means to achieve this, the proposal is to employ mobile device apps for use in the field, in combination with downloadable learning/creative materials, to facilitate individual/group interpretation of past environments which can then be made available to all via a web hosted interactive gallery. To further stimulate interest from the younger participants an app based game will be created which challenges the players to locate evidence of the deep past, whilst pitted against the clock, each other and challenges emerging from the deep time period they are currently ‘walking over’.