Progress Report –Knighton Map Sheet 180 October 2016, Arthur Tingley

We are coming towards the end of the 2016  mapping season, and I thought it useful to do a quick review or progress and issues to show how we are getting along, where the pinch points are and what can be done about it.

A lot has been happening across the board;  It was an  uncertain start to the mapping season,  but by reviewing the work of each surveyor as shown below I have  realised that we have moved on a very  long way  and we remain on target.

I have been  distracted a bit by organising additional aspects of the work  but  the whole corpus has distinctly moved forward very well as a result such that I have been able to  allocate new areas for survey , and  with excellent co-operation from  the Woolhope/U3A/EHT organised by Moira Jenkins  some critical ‘ zoning’ work has been done through co-ordinated fossil hunting expeditions.

Other opportunities have arisen, like the sudden arrival of the Elan Valley Aqueduct Project, and Cambridge University Library finally tracking down the thesis by Nancy Kirk.  Also I have been able to link up with Joe Botting and Lucy Muir who have been studying the area on the Western Edge of the map  near Llandegeley Rocks, mostly from a Palaeontological point of view. They  are helping  by putting names to  graptolites, and providing a little extra input to  find identify  localities.  Robin Cocks [BMNH] has sent me his research material on the Llandovery of the area around Nash.

Also Rhian Kendal of BGS, had been allocated a bit of field time to survey H1, but has made little progress to date due to other duties.

On the whole BGS is a passive  ‘partner’, although I was approached earlier in the year to co-host a meeting of the Ludlow Research Group, however the progress of the mapping project has priority over a field trip which would divert our meagre resources.  BGS Archives, have been quite helpful in sourcing the surrounding area field slips, and it is now established that  there is no other pertinent  information apart from Borehole Records that we can rely upon for our investigation, but I do have to go to Keyworth to get  it.

[Stop press, at of the time of writing, 16th October 2016,  an e-mail   dated of  March 2016, has been passed on to me from TVGS  from David Bate of BGS – offering his field slips for  the NE corner of the map, with bibliography – my maxim that information is like treacle  still holds].

Both Neil Raha and Ingrid Darnley are  out of action, and have not been able to progress their sheets, and so I shall be  considering how to best get those areas done now, something will turn up it usually does.

The general status [based upon a best guess from conversations]  of each of the 1:10 000 sheet areas is as follows:


Looking at the progress of each of the surveyors  sheet areas:

I have finished the survey of Radnor Forest  RF3  and 4 , except that I still have to get a fix on the time zone around the  north eastern edge of the map.  A sample of rock is with the Natural History Museum for  micropalaeontological analysis. I also  am awaiting the detailed notes   from Alan Wyatt  to the North  of RF to see how the sequence fits together.  The Palaeontological ‘Team’ has undertaken a number of very productive searches and that has resolved the outstanding uncertainties that I did have.

I can now start to build a fair copy hypothesis map  of  most or Radnor Forest, but the relationship with rocks beneath  and to the east and west of the hills  remain sketchy. To the east I am relying upon work done by Paul Bate and to some degree by  Nancy Kirk,  but I would prefer to replicate some of her observations to be safe.

So then I began to map RF1 and 2, thinking that it would probably be too difficult to get it all done this year, but then surprised myself and  have been able to move it on very well in recent weeks and for the most part have been able to map most of it, I still need to sit  down quietly  to write it all up carefully, to identify any gaps in my knowledge.

On RF1 and 2 there is a  strong  disjunction  between Silurian and Ordovician Rocks,  the later which turn out to be a thick sedimentary sequence of volcaniclastic rocks [tuff] and lava,  but this is quite difficult going  ground  mostly on foot,  but so  very different from the geology we are seeing on the rest of the sheet.  However rock type becomes an issue here, as fine grained igneous rock and  tuff can be quiet difficult to  differentiate without a microscope, so I am looking for quick and cheap ways to make up petrological slides.

Once that is done  I will then  turn my attention to H1.


Apparently igneous , with warped columnar joints,  the point shown is the dip given  on the OT Jones  survey, but if this is a tuff then the bedding might be more as shown in foreground. 

Also I have been monitoring the progress of  the Elan Valley Aqueduct Project  at Bleddfa,  the Site Engineer has allowed me to visit regularly , and  has kept me informed  of drilling  conditions.  The best rock though is not out of the tunnelling machine as  there is no rock face to see, its just ground up slurry coming out of the tunnel.  The best part  is the rock which was broken out to get the tunnelling  machine in and out.   This had me puzzled for a while as it looks like Bailey Hill Formation, which came out first, then dark microlaminated flags [Knucklas Castle Formation]  …. But that is  apparently the wrong way around. Has the BHF been moved from somewhere else ?  that is quite possible of course.  But  then I spent some time hammering a pile of rocks and  discovered that this material appears to be younger, as indeed it should be [principle of superposition]  and so is  there a facies just above the Knucklas Castle  Formation that reverts to a BHF type faces!   Significantly this  material also contains a ‘gingerbread’ rock light rich reddish brown,  perhaps little flushes of terrestrial  material  that I am seeing elsewhere in younger rocks.


Bottom of piles on Dark  microlaminated siltstone – 8 metres below the surface


The first out of the trench – Bailey Hill Formation ??  Note that the cobble is rounded.

The EVA have also provide me with all the site investigation reports for this site and around Knighton, where I notice that they are still drilling, so it’s worth popping in to have a quick look whilst the opportunity exists.

Forestry Commission Wales are still stripping trees in the area, and this continues to provide lots of opportunities to get at fresh exposures.

Paul Bate  started the year with a broken ankle and  was back surveying by  mid year, and indeed finished off his sheets PR1 and 2.   Samples and photographs demonstrate  that   there is clear variation in the microlaminated facies, indeed it may be possible to demonstrate that the equivalent to the BHF just fizzles out … thus  we would be talking about lobes of sandy material in places, and not in others, so not quite a delta but fingers of sediment running east to west.

Paul is now  looking in particular now for evidence of exposures of Wenlock Mudstone,  a particularly gooey material when it was aid down as it seems to be stretched and wrinkled at the time of deposition.

We have now agree that once that is finished then he will go on to survey BH1 and 2.

Adrian Wyatt, has also made very good progress, most of the  sheet  H2 has been covered, and again he is looking at detail, and I have allocated a further sheet to him BH4.

In particular he has found a lot of evidence for the ‘ Pontesford Disturbance’  and it would seem to come a lot closer to the northern edge of the Radnor Forest than previously supposed..  He has  proved  the existence of ‘Platyschima’  on the northern edge of RF, and that nails it for  me, the top of the Hills there expose Pridoli as I  expected.


View along the Pontesford Disturbance from near Penybont [ from West]


Bailey Hill Formation vertical in the core of  Pontesford Disturbance

He also reports green micaceous sandstone,  but probably not quite where I was expecting it, and so I can’t wait to see his field slips, photos and  samples to make sense of that.

Mike Brooks,  has completed a large proportion of BU1 and CL2 ,  and  we reviewed some of  his findings, indeed I followed in his footsteps to do one part of a traverse, and  yet again that intriguing  rock type …’gingerbread’ made another  appearance.  Here the Bailey Hill Formation has  been mapped to north [Montgomery]  but it does not look like it does to the west of our  sheet.

There is some more work to be done here to try to differentiate these rock types, and especially mark up the field slips so that we can be clear about what has been observed.  Again, this is a question of not jumping to conclusions about a rock name before we have the  evidence, photos, samples etc.    In order to assist in the clarification , Mike has extended  his area of Survey a little further to the West onto KN2.

This is complicated territory in the vicinity of the Church Stretton Fault , lots of woods and vales, but already we don’t appear to agree with the structure posited by Stamp in 1918, but then we have the advantage of more recent surveys to the North, and google earth.

Most of Mikes photographs are on the Knighton Map System , and demonstrate the dramatic scenery, and is very helpful at getting an overview of the area, however to make sense of all of that the field slips are being compiled with all the data on them.   This became most apparent to me when I did a lightning trip to one of his   traverses, as I found that I could not interpret the 3D relationships from the screen  without going  into the field.

John Mosley, has been staying in the area of Lingen for a week here and there with his wife, and they were doing that   again  this   October . Whence he  will probably  have finished off the sheets HA1 and PR3.  If so, and he is willing   then he could  move on to take over  KN1 and 2  in order to progress those,  but that’s  still to be discussed.

John has been able to find some of the channels reported by McWhitaker , and also confirm some of his own earlier mapping around Pedwardine,   the area is  seriously lacking in a lot of exposure, but there is enough, and a few opportune excavations have helped things forward here.  So, he is anticipating writing up his mapwork before the end of this year.

We have delayed the review of his work until  November  so as not to miss the best weather in October for his field work.

Allan Hughes and Sue Chester have been able to make  good progress on  PR4, and  we again are awaiting an opportunity to undertake a review of their work, probably in November.

As mentioned Moira Jenkins along with John Payne and various parties from the Woolhope Club and Malvern U3A,  have undertaken a series of  day trips around Radnor Forest, with teams of up to 12 people searching for fossils at specific sites where I needed to try to pin down a time zone.  In all they have found around 100 graptolites and other assorted fossils. All the findings  have been significant one way or another, even when they found no fossils.

Identification of the graptolites has proved to be a problem, David Loydell at Southampton University is the current ‘expert’ in this field, he is  very helpful but busy, to date he has fired photographs to Russia for identification.. Which is nice, but it’s a bit odd, all the expertise is dwindling away. On the other hand Lucy Muir now has the photographs and is taking them with her on her trip to Beijing University  where she and Joe Botting  work from time to time in winter.  Otherwise Caroline Buttler at Cardiff Museum has been batting my fossil enquiries all over the world for indentifications.

So this leaves two areas which  need to be worked upon one way or another, KN1 is relatively easy as this was the area surveyed by Holland in detail, so its mostly a question of  repeating  and checking some of his observations , and adding some  where new exposures have occurred.

The northern margin BH3 and KN2/ CL1  remains a  little bit of a problem for the moment, I shall  visit Keyworth to copy the field slips for the overlap from Montgomery during November, and then see how much work needs to be done on it. So two jobs to pass over until next year.

In summary, I am clear that  we  have a  lot  of data in hand and this needs to  be plotted onto the respective [original]  field slips, with  notes and  photographs [on CD  which I can supply you with]   and perhaps a few rock samples as needed.    So I am hoping that you will each do that work during Winter and be on a position to provide me with the your evidence and observations on paper by the end of February 2017 ,  whence we said that we would meet up.

I would hope  next year to be in a position to draft a hypothesis  map for each of the 10 000 sheet areas, which we can then check,  but  once I have finished H1.  Then  I would like to spend the year visiting each of the   sheet areas to check the lithology and  get the sequence  and variability right across the map.  At then end of next year we might then have all the data compiled ready to draft out the 1:25 000 scale fair copy map, leading to drafting the 1:50000 scale during next winter.


View of the ‘ eastern half’ of the map area  from Whimble –  Bucknell to extreme left distance, the hills are the Church Stretton Fault zone – passing to right at Dolyhir. View overlooks the Walton ‘Basin’ in foreground.

Knighton Map Group –March Meeting 2016 meeting notes

Thank you all for coming to the meeting at Martley, I hope that you found it as useful and enlightening as I did. Also thank you for the smooth running, and the frequent supply of Tea, Coffee and Biscuits.

These are not minutes but notes so that we remember what happened and what we said that we would do, if you want to add anything please do so.

We noted the Adrian and Ingrid could not be with us, and so they will also need to know what happened.

We noted ACT, PB, MB, JM, SC, AH,NR, MJ   present

Neil nominated himself as official meeting photographer, and hopefully will be able to illustrate some of the points made below, for the benefit of those not present etc.

Dave Cropp came around and took a group photograph, then we got down to business. I described my survey method and progress on the Radnor Forest Sheets.  I have more or less sampled most of the 4 sheets making up coverage of the Radnor Forest Area, supplemented by observations made by PB to the east.  I do await observations to the North AW, and some palaeontological details  [MJ]  and some additional specific results from microfossils and petrology for other sources.

I observed that I now have a complete set of notes, field slips, with borehole data from the BGS site, samples and photographs for my area, and my next step will be to start sketching out the fair copy on the 2.5 inch. I have started to test for ‘sense ‘ by drafting cross sections to explore some possible ideas on interpretation, which in turn have prompted a series of questions that I can now go out and answer with targeted visits. Whilst thoughts on that brew…

I can now move on for this year’s survey work I need to move west towards Llandegley to cover the next set of maps, but also I will need to augment my observations to the South and South East of RF.

I have [with PB] driven over the unallocated map areas to assess  the scale of the task, and have some leads for the area around Llanbister, but  will need to allocate the area around  Black Hill [NW corner of the sheet]  at some stage.

We also viewed a  ‘rock column’, I set out some rocks in chronological order, we viewed the facies that are represented which suggest some rock name classifications, but also poses some questions relating to the variability of facies, and the scarcity of fossil evidence, but showed that the evidence is there. We noted the difficulty in finding graptolites but recognised that they are there, somewhere.  Also we also looked at the correlation charts, and where these come from.

We then went on and looked at the value of the Virtual Rock Atlas as a tool of communication between us, and we all undertook to populate it.  MB demonstrated how it can be used at a de-minimus by putting on location numbers and dip readings, and contributing photos and notes later as time allows. I commented that words are generally inadequate, and rarely recognisable in the field, and that a good image, in the form of a rock atlas [to which we are all contributing] is a considerably better way of communicating and recognising patterns of rock types and slowly the facies characteristics emerge.

So whilst the primary objective is to capture data and record it on the hard copy field slip, field notes etc. the best means of helping us all to see the pattern emerge is to use the Virtual Rock Atlas as a form of assurance, and comparison.

There were brief chats about the importance of a unique location reference number to which everything relates [rocks, photos, notes etc] ; help, hindrances and interest coming from various quarters and the role of BGS. There is a lot of goodwill out there to tap into if used wisely and in a focussed way.

Timescale left, namely fair copy interpretation by end of 2017, this means:

We are aiming to get the bulk of the initial survey for most of the map area completed during 2016, and any detail surveying to resolve interpretation during 2017.

The body of data that we amass must not then go into a black hole, but be made available through the map [to be published] and explanatory booklet,  field guide, walk guide, rock atlas both hard and virtual copies to maximise the transparency and accessibility of the information and our interpretation of it.

We all recognise that we have limited knowledge, skills and abilities, but just from the round table discussion about our progress, we have done a lot more than we individually care to admit, the key is to try, record what you see methodically, and the pattern will only slowly emerge, that’s normal. If there is nervousness about what to do and how to interpret it, that is normal, geology is about amassing data and evidence methodically, allowing patterns to emerge and then interpreting and testing it; if you try to rush it, and feel despondent in the process, you are expecting too much of yourself.  The key is to observe, risk an interpretation, learn from the process, and build confidence by either failing or not, both are valid.  Your primary objective at this phase is to winkle out the data, and even show where the data is not available, the understanding will follow.

Future meetings and communications: we probably have not been communicating with each other enough to build team confidence, however we undertook to meet up again formally about the same time next year.  During the year we shall use the Virtual Rock Atlas to report findings incrementally [MB will help]  and where needed for support and help ACT will meet up locally with individuals to get feedback, results, guidance whatever is needed to help things along. Although you are encouraged to meet up or discuss your thoughts, pair up as needed to help build confidence is your own knowledge.

By the end of this year it would be good to be in a position to return some field slips, with notes, photos and if necessary some samples, this can be done incrementally, so that by March 2017 we are in a position to identify the gaps, and need for detailed research and interpretation.

Did I forget anything?

Thank you to all of you for your continued interest, enthusiasm and support… we are getting there, I continue to be very optimistic that we can do this, so long as the basic data is being recorded at this stage.

Arthur Tingley

October 25th
Arthur sent the following words and two attachments:
I am anticipating that some of you are still experiencing some nervousness in describing rock samples, so I have thrown together this little presentation, which if  you print out at several to a page could provide a handy pocket aide-memoire in the field (if you stick them to cards!)  [albeit  in the latest version of Power Point they print too small !!]
Also, amazingly I have found a PDF version of the Maunsel Colour Chart  [usually costs about £50]    which is usually on card and  with holes cut out between the colours , to provide a reference system for  rock colour.  In our area the choices are quite limited, but it might help a bit.
October 15
Arthur sent in a report for October 15
HERE is a note about progress on the whole project and HERE is a sample traverse note that Arthur uses.
August 2015
from Arthur’s email August 2nd
I hope that your summer is proceeding well, and that despite the rather variable weather  conditions that you have been enjoying yourselves, one way or another, at least the rivers are not flowing fast -yet.
Mike Brooks is  helping me to put together a ‘rock atlas’ on the Teme Valley GS web site. I will put something up, and then if you would like to add further examples then please do so. He is also working on a way to share some of our surveying we will see more of that no doubt once he has piloted the idea.
I have met up with Paul Bate who has showed me his work to date, and  this has helped me to form an opinion of the eastern flanks of my area. He has to date reconnoitered probably  40% of his area.  Likewise John Moseley is well on the way towards 40-45% , 50 % probably by the end of the season.  Ingrid Darnley  too is proceeding  well , although as many of you are finding out -navigation in grey rock is not simple ! One of the reasons that I have put together the rock atlas is to underpin observations of some of the subtle  variables to look out for.
It would be quite nice to receive a short  indication of what you have been able to do , and what your plans for the rest of the year might be.  It would be a good idea to perhaps estimate how much of your map area/s  will have been finished by the end of this year.  Further indicate any problems that you feel that may be preventing progress, or indeed maybe you have finished and want some more to do !
I have been busy, having   very nearly  completed the surveying of the highland area of Radnor Forest, and am now ready to start mapping the lower levels to the West especially.  I have vaguely become aware that the facies change from  anoxic to oxic conditions seems to happen around the eastern side of the RF.. probably around Cascob  -Discoed.  But the fossils seem to be rather rare for the moment.. especially Graptolites.. [The are like London Buses.. you dont see one for ages and then they all turn up together !]
It would be useful to have some idea about your availability for a  general  meeting to share progress and findings. I will try to interpret the various limitations and come up with a best date for most people..  I assume  that  Martley would be a good place, but there might be venues to consider.  I’m open to yor thoughts. If all else fails  due to hols etc then we might do it in Autumn or a series of  smaller one to one ish types of meeting.
I am also working on a ‘poster’ for a poster session at the Ludlow Meeting  on the 3rd October, and that will capture the headlines of our project,  and also  have given  a brief to the Geologist’s Association Magazine
March 2015

from Arthur’s email March 23rd:

It seems to be all quiet on the western front, I have heard back from 4/9 surveyors that you have received the Guideline for surveyors that I sent out about 10 days ago.  So I hope that you did get it; on the other hand if you think that you did not hear from me , then please get in touch and I will end that again.
In that document and the e-mail I mentioned that there would be an appendix of graphical information. Sadly it is too big to by conventional e-mail (but HERE is a link for you to download it is 35MB) so I shall have to send it via a high volume service separately.   As always , I  shall be pleased to recieve feedback and suggestions for improvement etc.
I hope that you  have everything now and subject the vagaries of life etc feel able to get on and as and when the days allow.
February 2015

The second  and third survey training events were  held at the Knapp Nature Reserve on the 8th October  and  15th  November respectively; where we discussed the preparation  needed  for a  reconnaissance survey, using the method of ‘ active observation’ to build a mental picture of the geomorphology and anticipate where the  sparse exposures might be found.

We then  went out and  undertook a traverse from Suckley back to Alfrick, by routes which cut across the grain of the physiography, making observations on feature , structure and facies types as we  went, and  methodically noting these on a field slip [map] and notebook.

Each traverse has thrown up more detail of the training area, as the vegetation has died back, but  each of the events has shown the value of a traverse as a fast means of  mapping, and by  running a series of traverses a wider area  can  be ‘sampled’ and  interpreted.

The final product being geological data which is held on a field slip with notes and photographs and which can be interpreted by other geologists.

The traverse  from Suckley to Alfrick exposes the full range of strata  from Llandovery –Wenlock- Ludlow- Pridoli; thus the whole Silurian succession, a thickness of around 1500 metres seen in a distance of 3km.  The Knighton Map exposes these over a distance  of about 30 km, albeit the strata are more horizontal, and the thickness greater. The palaeo-environments slowly change from Alfrick through the Ludlow Anticline and on towards Knighton and beyond, and the comparison will be a very useful to have in mind as we eventually examine the paleo-geography from Shelf to Basin.

Allocation of Survey Area

The Knighton Map sheet has been divided up into 20  1:10 000 sheets, and each of these field slip areas needs to be surveyed.  Each  sheet has been  allocated to a surveyor who is responsible for the work in that area at the reconnaissance stage.  As and how the work proceeds further areas will then be allocated to follow on the trend of research.  We presently have 9 surveyors.

The Map  shows the present allocation of survey areas:

Areas' Recruitment

I am presently working on  ‘Guidelines for Surveyors’,  which summarise much of what has been discussed in training sessions and more. This will go out as first draft  before the field season starts, and will be refined as we work on the problems and issues that will arise.


In December The Geologists  Association, gave  a further Award  to the Map Project, predominantly to support some micro-palaeontology and excavation of sections.

A briefing on progress and potential needs for some assistance and co-operation  was held  with the Hereford and Worcester Earth Heritage Trust just after their January Board Meeting.  The project has their full support and to date we have received a great deal of encouragement and access to data and information. John Payne, Moira Jenkins and The Building Stone Project Team  have all been very co-operative, and in turn we will reciprocate.

For example, a map produced by Nancy Kirk around 1947  was un-earthed by John Payne.  This covers the area  to the South of Presteigne, and covers a part of the Church Stretton Fault  towards Kington. The original map seems to have gone missing  along with the PhD from which it comes.  However I have managed to recreate the map onto a1:25 000 sheet, but  the detailed key and explanation is missing, and it does need to be resurveyed  [Kirk 1947  The Geology of the anticlinal disturbance of Breconshire and Radnorshire; Pont Faen to Presteigne. Unpublished PhD thesis . University of Cambridge….lost ?].

As hinted above, I anticipate that there will  be a need to  do some micro-palaeontology to clarify relationships,  the palaeontology is a little fuzzy, due no doubt to the fact that the lithology is made up of Mud [ See Geological Society ‘Year of Mud’..we are in vogue!], with variations of faunal communities.  This will need some specialist help, and I am in touch with the Natural History Museum, in the first instance, about this.

This year’s mapping season will be along eventually, and I am hoping that the surveyors  will each be able to get out and undertake perhaps one traverse a month or more.    It would be worth getting together as a group to review procedures and provide some feedback, perhaps in early Summer, once everybody has done some work on their own. However early results back from last years work is extremely encouraging.

UPDATE [20/10/2014]
A second survey training event was held at the Knapp Nature Reserve on the 8th October when we discussed the preparation  needed  for a  reconnaissance survey, using the method of ‘ active observation’ to build a mental picture of the geomorphology and anticipate where the  sparse exposures that we would expect to find, might be. Then we went out and undertook a traverse from Suckley back to Alfrick, by a route which cuts across the grain of the lithology, making notes of a field slip [map]  as we went along.Because the day was forecast to be rough, we elected to travel mostly by car, and so did the survey by a slightly different route than in August, this has the added benefit of allowing more discussion  time and consideration of the survey strategy.We now have  four areas being surveyed, and we still have to train a further 2 or 3 volunteers who could not attend this or the previous day.  However the money for that is getting a bit thin so the strategy now  is  to  complete the training of volunteers [the recruitment phase],  by pairing together volunteers to provide the  hands on survey experience needed to build confidence and provide an example of the product needed.  This will lead to the completion of the ‘allocation of areas’ phase.

During 2015 we shall continue with the Reconnaissance Phase, after which we then move in to an ‘Architecture’  phase, logging, paleontology and looking at specific exposures in some detail.

Early thoughts for further meetings;  probably one inside  meeting  during winter  to develop skills and then perhaps in summer a coach trip running across the map area, for the whole group to get a good overview of the geology and context.

At some stage there may also be the need to form a small party to undertake a fossil hunt in specific localities.  Basin side rocks of Ludlovian era can seem quite unfossiliferous, in  those circumstances, many hands make light work.

Introduction to the Knighton Map Project (updated 25th Sept 14)

View South down Harley Dingle from Shepherd's Well

View South down Harley Dingle from Shepherd’s Well

At the  April [2014]  meeting of the TVGS  members were given an brief introduction  to the Knighton Mapping Project by  Dr Arthur Tingley, and were invited to become part of the survey team.

The primary  objective  of the exercise is ultimately to survey the area of the 1:50 000 scale BGS map sheet 180 ,  at 1:10 000 scale; covering  the area around Knighton, through which the upper reaches of the River Teme pass.The work  consists initially  of a group exercise to build the skills and knowledge needed to undertake a geological survey from scratch.  Then individuals registering to carry out work, either individually or in pairs, will receive guidance through workshops and individual support to enable them to participate and contribute their existing and developing skills.The area is large, and although the map has not been surveyed by BGS since 1850,  there have  been some fragments of survey work by various academics , and some overlap from neighbouring sheets. Nevertheless there is plenty of original surveying to be done.  So with a little citizen science, and some self development the tasks involved are not onerous for somebody with a desire to develop their own geological field craft skills.  So here is a quite unique opportunity to get involved with some very real and purposeful geological surveying.Arthur Tingley is  currently an Associate Lecturer with the Open University, and has tutored a range of  Earth Science courses, including  ‘ Geological Evidence for Environment Change’,  many of the concepts of which are relevant in this  activity.  He has had  a full career  spanning all facets of geology , starting off with  geological cartography in the old Geological Museum at South Kensington in 1966; and thence Geological Surveying in all its various guises  thereafter.

During my career I have frequently met  geologists and  former geological  students  who are mystified by the process of field mapping, they have learned the theory, maybe tinkered on a exercise,  read the books, been on field trips, but cannot take the step to using their own eyes to interpret  and describe what they see “ in case it is wrong”.   This survey will help to overcome that barrier by building the skills slowly and in a practical way to become confident in your own geological ability, and work in a team on a common problem.

The survey is being run on a shoestring, budget, there is just enough money in the kitty  to fund a limited  number of  start-up training events , and the provision of the 1:10 000 field slips.  All of that courtesy of the Geologist’s Association and the Open University respectively.

However, the biggest cost of a survey is manpower, and so long as a small  core of individuals are keen work together informally  then the task is  feasible. We are aiming to have at least 6-10 regular surveyors working occasionally as the weather time available and life permit. We would hope to finish the survey and prepare a fair copy map within 4 years.

Inaugural meeting – held at Ludlow Resource Centre

Fifteen members and friends of the Teme Valley Geological Society attended a day meeting at the LRC on the  18th June 2014,  to  examine the general  needs and scope of the survey.  An overview of the area and the history of research was  provided, and methods of  reconnaissance  survey were touched upon. We also considered some aspects of how the survey might be organised in an informal way.

A draft copy of some guidance notes, field slip index sheet and a  checklist  were circulated an some aspects of their use were discussed, this will all build into a Surveyor’s Guidance Document as we build the tools needed to do the work

In the afternoon Professor Mike Rosenbaum gave a brief tour of the geology of Ludlow, showing, in passing, some of the building stones used which give a good indication of  the likely lithologies  that we are likely to meet in Ludlovian strata.  The exposures along the  Bread Walk   bordering  the River Teme from Dinham Bridge to Ludford Bridge were examined,  by looking and describing the lithology and how the fabric changes according to the environment of deposition. This exercise drew out the importance of facies recognition over ‘ the naming of rocks’. We also practiced  some elementary dip and structural  readings  and geomorphological observations  and  concluded with some hypotheses,  which indeed fit with more established facts about the area.

By using our own eyes – to connect with our own brains we become gradually less dependent upon what other people tell that we should be seeing, and thus more confident about stepping out to  observe for ourselves.  A self assessment form was  circulated  which allowed some members to clarify what their own self development needs might be.

Following on from this meeting  two  volunteers asked to make a start on some field mapping, whilst others felt the need to undertake  more development first.

First workshop meeting

A quick workshop meeting was arranged for 6th   August 2014 to  demonstrate and develop the field skills  and a methodology required to undertake  reconnaissance surveying.

Three of us met up and agreed to undertake a  one day traverse of from Suckley to Alfrick Pound, using the techniques needed to undertake a survey on sedimentary rocks anywhere. The terrain covers similar type and age of rocks that we might expect to encounter in the Knighton Area.

The techniques of pre survey assessment were briefly illustrated, giving us a preliminary working hypothesis based upon geomorphology.  So we selected   a traverse  across the grain of the  land , to  cover the most  rock types in the shortest distance;  starting on   an  assumed  Pridoli –Red Mudstone and Siltstones on gently rising ground. We noted a variety of subtle features, the colour of soil and the gradual increase in slope as the soil colour changed, two ridges and  the vales showing up  the conjectural  changes in lithology and some minor and one major fault line.

During the travers we noted the relative changes in slopes,  soil colour changes, float and just enough  exposures to get dip readings from and an idea of the facies present. Thus we were able to refine our initial hypothesis  about the relationship between landform and rock type to build a tentative  cross section, which can now be tested in other areas, to build up a wider picture of the outcrops. We crossed the  Malvern Fault at Alfrick Pound  and we were able to map it with a precision of about 10 metres.

After  the field trip – traverse notes and field slips were marked up, and a tentative cross section drawn.  We confirmed to ourselves that through fairly straightforward observation, note taking and simple measurement that it is feasible to go out and begin reconnaissance mapping.  We agree that once each of  the volunteers had undertaken  a few surveys on their allocation  1:10 000 field slip areas that we would come together to discuss any issues and resolve any further development needs.

October  Meeting

At the Ludlow meeting and after, it became apparent that some of  original volunteers at the TVGS meeting  could not get  to  the Ludlow  meeting. So a further introductory meeting is planned  for October  to ensure that everybody who would like to be involved  can  participate.

Allocation of Area

The Knighton Map sheet has been divided up into 20  1:10 000 sheets, and each of these field slip areas needs to be surveyed.  At the reconnaissance stage  each of the sheets will be allocated to a surveyor who is responsible for the work in that area. As and how the work proceeds  further areas will then  be allocated to follow on the trend of research. The allocation  presently stands as follows ;

Arthur Tingley  RF1,2,3, 4   – Radnor Forest
Michael Brooks  BU1          – Bucknell
Alan Hughes   and Sue Chester  PR 2, 4    – Stansbatch- Evenjob
Ingrid Darnley     KN1     -Knighton
Paul Bate            Awaiting allocation
Moira  Jenkins   Awaiting allocation

2nd Workshop Meeting

Just to confirm that I have now booked the meeting room at the Knapp Nature Reserve for the 8th October  with a reserve  on the 9th Oct.  The long range forecast shows that there might be a deterioration in the weather around the 1st October, and so if we have an alternative day available then we have the choice closer to the time.  At the moment the meeting is on for the 8th.

Starting at 10.00 , We shall spend an hour in the room on a pre-field trip brief , then set off for a traverse from Suckley back to Alfrick, then on completion a de-brief and then a more general discussion about the project  and the geology of the area….   also a look at the strategy and need for further meetings and  any personal development needs.

Documentation for the meeting will be as follows: Field Slips, Skills Sheet, Methodology