The Geologists’ Association organizes a number of day-long and weekend field meetings. If you would like further information on any of the events below, please contact Sarah Stafford at the GA Office on 020 7434 9298 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can now pay for your place on the field trips online by clicking the relevant link below. Please note non-GA members pay an additional £5 for each trip.
The Neoproterozoic rocks of the Charnwood Forest area, Leicestershire
Leader: Mike Howe (British Geological Survey)
Meet: Sunday 10th September 2023 at 10:30 am
Place: Meet at Mount St Bernard Abbey car park (SK 4589 1618 – LE67 5UL) at 10:30 am. The car park is approached along a drive running south from Oaks Road and is open to the public. It is free, but with a box for donations. Toilets and picnic benches are available, so an early arrival is recommended. There will be a charge for parking at Bradgate Park (Old John – Hunts Hill entrance), depending upon how long we stay. To maximise the geology, please bring packed lunches, but there are several pubs for refreshments afterwards.
To get there: Take the M1 to Junction 23 and then head west along the A512 to Shepshed. Turn left (south) at the second set of traffic lights towards Coalville, and then take the second turning on the right along Oaks Road toward the Abbey.
Safety: Hard hats are not required, but hi-vis tabards are recommended. Strong walking boots are ideal, together with thick socks and trousers to minimise the risk from ticks in Bradgate Park. There is no hammering at any of the localities.
Geological Features of the Excursion: The Ediacaran (Late Neoproterozoic, Precambrian) rocks of Charnwood Forest are of international significance; particularly so in the development of our understanding of the Ediacaran biota. The discovery of Charnia masoni by three schoolboys in 1957 (but see ) led to the re-evaluation of previous finds in Australia and the realisation that they were of Precambrian age.
The Charnian rocks are dominantly volcaniclastic sediments, but with two volcanic complexes. In addition there are two sets of intrusions of diorite. The whole is overlain by Cambrian conglomerates, quartzites and slates – previously also thought to be of Precambrian age. The area is interpreted to have been formed in an island arc, in a setting very similar to Montserrat.
We shall start by examining rocks from the Whitwick Volcanic Complex used in the wall of the Abbey  and then investigate the relationships between the volcanic complex and the surrounding sedimentary sequence. We will visit Morley quarry in the Blackbrook Group, the oldest part of the sedimentary sequence, where BGS drilled a borehole . We then hope to visit the famous “Bomb Rocks” (permit required) and we will then visit Bradgate Park  to view the younger sediments of the Maplewell Group and investigate their intriguing sedimentology, including the effects of earthquakes, before discussing the Ediacaran biota. We will also view quartzites of the Cambrian Brand Group and the intrusive South Charnwood Diorite. If time permits, we will search for the trace fossil Teichichnus in Newtown Linford Churchyard, which proved the Cambrian age of the Swithland Formation. Howe, Mike P.A.; Evans, Mark; Carney, John N.; Wilby, Philip R. 2012. New perspectives on the globally important Ediacaran fossil discoveries in Charnwood Forest, UK: Harley's 1848 prequel to Ford (1958). Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society, 59, (2), 137-144. 10.1144/pygs2012-321. http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/2098/1/Historical%20Review%20Paper_V17_Oct.pdf  Carney, J N, 2010. Guide to the geology of Mount St. Bernard, Charnwood Lodge, Warren Hills and Bardon Hill, Charnwood Forest. British Geological Survey Open Report, OR/10/044. http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/12098/1/OR10044.pdf  BGS OpenGeoscience Borehole Scans: http://www.bgs.ac.uk/data/boreholescans/home.html and specifically: http://scans.bgs.ac.uk/sobi_scans/boreholes/216505  Carney, J N, 2010. Guide to the geology of Bradgate Park and Swithland Wood, Charnwood Forest. British Geological Survey. British Geological Survey Open Report, 0R/10/041. http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/11705/1/Bradgate_Guide_JNC2010.pdf
Please book your place using the buttons below. Please note that this trip is not suitable for children
COST: Members £5 and Non Members £10
Please note the following important information for Field Meetings:
BOOKING. You must book through the GA office to confirm attendance. Meeting times and locations will be confirmed on booking. These are not normally advertised in advance, as there have been problems with members turning up without booking or paying and maximum numbers being exceeded. Field meetings are open to non-members although attendance by non-members is subject to a £5 surcharge on top of the normal administration fee. Some meetings may have restrictions on age (especially for under 16s) or be physically demanding. If you are uncertain, please ask.
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The GA's FIELDWORK CODE is widely recognized as a standard for advice and guidance in the field. The code can be obtained free of charge, and is available for distribution.
The GA's UK FIELDTRIP GUIDELINES (July 2020) can also be downloaded here.