UK Field Trips

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: 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.

Please see below the following important information for Field Meetings

2021 Meetings

Existing trips have been postponed due to Covid but we are exploring new virtual options to run so please come back soon for more details.

GA Field Trip to Denbies Vineyard, Dorking, Surrey: A Geoviticultural Extravaganza
Date: Saturday 11th September 2021
Leader: Professor Richard Selley

Surrey, in general, and Dorking in particular, has a long association with wine. Several vineyards flourished in the county during the Little Ice Age of the 17th and 18th centuries, notably at Painshill Park, Albury and Deepdene. In the last century vineyards were planted near Dorking at Thorncroft and Denbies. Denbies covers some 104 hectares (260 acres) and is believed to be the largest vineyard in Europe. It is planted with 19 different cultivars, and produces a range of red, white and sparkling wines. It was established on the recommendation of a notorious local geologist, who recognised the favourable combination of topography and geology, coupled with the beneficial effects of global warming. The Cretaceous chalk, on which Denbies is largely planted, crops out in the Champagne area of France, and is noted for its dual pore system of fractures and inter-coccolithic shelter porosity. The fractures ensure that the vines are always well-drained, but in the dry season they may obtain moisture from the micro-porosity between the fractures.


10.30 Assemble at Denbies winery one mile north of Dorking on the A24 (TQ163511). Postcode: RH5 6AA. The winery is reached from a roundabout with a brown tourist sign. Full details of location are on Denbies winery can be reached by train from London, Victoria & Waterloo, to Dorking, and from Reading and Redhill to Dorking Deepdene Station. Denbies winery is an invigorating 15minute walk away, or 5 minutes by taxi (Taxi rank in station fore-court). Tea, coffee & biscuits.

11.00-12.00 Lecture by Dick Selley in the Denbies Suite: ‘Geological & climatic controls on two millennia of English viticulture’.

12:00 – 12:50 Vineyard tour. This is a ride in a series of trailer carriages towed by a Land Rover that climbs up through the vineyard and along part of the North Downs Way providing spectacular views of Box Hill, the North Downs, Mole Valley and the Weald.

13:00 – 14:00 Reserved table for the delegation in the Conservatory Restaurant. This is a pay as you go self-service restaurant where delegates can buy hot meals, free range organic vegetarians, light snacks, tea, coffee and even wine.

14:00 – 14:50 Winery tour. This begins with the showing of a film with polychromatic geo-phantasmograms starring a notorious local geologist pontificating on how geology controls the location of Denbies, the deposition of the Chalk, uplift & erosion of the Weald, etc., etc.. This is followed by a stroll through the winery before descending into the cellars for a tutored tasting of 3 different wines.

14.50 onwards Opportunity to buy wine and a diverse range of other items in the winery shop. Depart convivially into the bucolic Surrey countryside……….

Members: £25.00 excluding lunch

Non Members: £30.00 excluding lunch

GA North Somerset Field Trip
Dates: Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th September 2021

Leader: Jonathan Turner

The field excursion will focus on magnificently exposed cliffs and the extensive foreshore between Blue Anchor Bay and Hinkley Point power station, north Somerset. This section provides some of the best outcrops of Triassic (Sherwood Sandstone and Mercia Mudstone Groups) to Lower Jurassic ‘Blue Lias’, including the transitional Penarth (‘Rhaetic’) Group recording one of the major marine transgressions of the rock record. It is also one of the best places anywhere to examine faults, fractures and compressional deformation, which in this area was responsible for uplifting the margin of a major Triassic rift basin – the Bristol Channel graben. Favourable tides will allow plenty of time to examine the evidence for ancient depositional environments, tectonic structures, oil-related fluids, and a spectacular mud volcano. We should even be able to sneak in a cream tea.

This trip has been rescheduled from 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. There are a small number of places available as priority has been given to participants who booked in 2020.

Field Trips may be cancelled for a variety of reasons; please take this into consideration when booking travel and accommodation the GA is not responsible for these costs. If the GA has to cancel for any reason all monies should be returned to participants as soon as possible. In the event of postponement participants can be offered the choice of a refund, cancel and donate their booking fee or to stay on the list for the rescheduled trip. If a participant has to cancel, then normally their fee is forfeited.

Meeting points and further details will be communicated to participants nearer the time. Contact details and emergency contact required at booking.

Please email to be placed on the waiting list.

GA Zoom talk/workshop on the Wealden (Smokejacks)

Date:  31st October 2021, 6.30-8.30pm
Speakers: Peter Austen and Ed Jarzembowski

The popular annual Wealden field trip will take the form of a Zoom talk/workshop. The workshop will start with a virtual tour of the Smokejacks clay pit, describing the geological contexts and environment in the Lower Cretaceous when these sediments were deposited.

We will then move on to look at some of the fossil finds that have been made there. Starting with the discovery of dinosaur Baryonyx in 1983 and run through some of the more important and unusual finds that have been made over the years since then.

This will be followed by an open discussion and an opportunity for identification of fossil finds by our experts Pete and Ed.

More details will be posted soon

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.

PAYMENTS for day and weekend meetings must be made before attending any field meeting. Payments can be made on line by clicking the relevant box above. Alternatively cheques should be made out to Geologists’ Association Field Meetings. If making multiple bookings, please enclose a separate cheque for each meeting unless you have first confirmed that there are places available. A stamped addressed envelope is appreciated. Please give a contact mobile number and, if possible, an email address and provide the names of any other persons that you are including in your booking. Please also provide and emergency contact name and mobile number at the time of booking.

PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE for field meetings is provided but personal accident cover remains the responsibility of the participant. Further details are available upon request from the GA office.

SAFETY is taken very seriously. Should you be unsure about either the risks involved or your ability to participate, you must seek advice from the GA office before booking. Please make sure that you study the risk assessment prepared for all GA field meetings and that you have all the safety equipment specified. You must decalre, at the time of booking, any disabilities or medical conditions that may affect your ability to safely attend a field meeting. You may be asked to provide further information on any prescription drugs etc. that you may use whilst attending a field meeting. In order to ensure the safety of all participants, the GA reserves the right to limit or refuse attendance at field meetings.

EMERGENCY CONTACT: If you are lost or late for the start of a meeting, an emergency contact is available during UK field meetings by calling the GA mobile phone (07724 133290). The mobile phone will only be switched on just before and during field meetings. For routine enquiries please call the GA office on the usual number.

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.