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Liverpool Amateur Geological Society Posts

A Snowdonia Adventure

This week we’ve handed the reigns of the blog over to new member Gerard Saplington – who came with us on our trip to North Wales a fortnight ago. Gerard’s a budding Amateur Geologist who’s currently on his summer break from his A-Levels. With a year left to complete them, he’s looking forward to applying to University to study Geology full time. Take it away Gerard!

The sky is a little grey and overcast when my Mum wakes me up with a cup of tea and toast. I’m only 17, that’s why I still live at home and I’m lucky enough to have caring parents who still dote on their only son, as if he were still but a child.

I packed my bag up yesterday, it had been a long while since I’d had any call to use my rucksack. A big old thing, I’d taken it on many Scout camps and hikes in the past – but it had been lying dormant in the attic for some time. Its still in good nick, considering its age, but looks smaller than I remember it being. When I’d first strapped it on for my debut Scout hike, it had felt preposterously large and unwieldy, I’d grown a few inches since then – and it now looked to be a good fit.

Inside were all the things that I would need for my adventure: sleeping bag, roll mat, emergency rations, geology equipment and spare clothes. I was as ready as I would ever be. Hearing the sound of a car horn out front, I peered out the window to find the Geology minibus waiting for me – I must have lost track of time!

Tea downed, and toast crammed into my gob I raced down the stairs, kissed my Mum on the cheek and ran to the bus to embark on my first Geological adventure!


Snowdon Horseshoe from Llynnau MymbyrI always fall asleep on car journeys. It doesn’t matter if they’re ten minutes or ten hours long, the swaying motion of a vehicle and the firm grip of the seat-belt always sends me right off.

So I wasn’t surprised to wake up to see the towering granite mountains of Snowdonia drifting by the minibus windows. We had arrived and I had the unsettling feeling that I had some pen on my face…

After scrubbing off the offending marks, I stepped off the bus to breathe in the mountain air – truly invigorating. We had an entire day to explore and investigate rock formations, mineral deposits and particular landmarks. Unlike professional Societies, the itinerary is often left completely up to the members rather than a governing body. We split up into teams of two and three, and scattered amongst the verdant countryside.

campingDave and Sal were much touted to make another discovery, after their success in the Lake District. However, at the end of a fun  but mostly fruitless day, it was Old George who had uncovered a a surprisingly rich marble vein in the side of Snowdon.

It always surprises me when new discoveries are made by Amateur Geologists. Many of our members are not scientifically trained, they’ve simply picked up their skills via osmosis – a group method has developed over the years and its proven quite effective.

moutain walkinAfter two full days, and peaceful nights sleeping, my weekend had come to a close without any discoveries. I wasn’t disappointed.

I had gone into this adventure expecting a fun time, with my new friends, walking the moors and looking at rocks. That’s what happened.

The biggest surprise of the weekend – I woke up back in Liverpool to find that my face was graffiti free. I guess this means that I’m in.

It does indeed Gerard, we thoroughly enjoyed your passion and enthusiasm. Hopefully your next adventure with us proves more productive!


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Let’s go to North Wales!

history_discoveries_gsc_07Before I mention the exciting news in the headline, I thought I’d do a quick recap on our time spent in the Lake District. For those that couldn’t attend (or those of you that might have had a bit too much to drink on the last night!), you missed a great weekend!

Obviously, there’s been a lot of excitement and buzz around the discoveries that David and Sal made whilst we were in the ‘Bowland Series’. We’ve had a few brief lectures in the last few weeks from them, and we should expect a full report in a couple of weeks or so. Needless to say, we all had a great time on the Saturday night celebrating their findings and we all enjoyed Tim’s rendition of ‘We Are the Champions’. Stirring stuff Tim, although perhaps a little less wine next time will help your head in the morning!

couple hike

On that note, as the header suggests, we’re going to North Wales. After our AGM, Snowdonia was officially put forward as the closest place with the most geological interest. This is a great opportunity for any new members to get involved with some hands on Geology and also meet our lovely members. Snowdonia is a wonderful part of the world. With huge mountain ranges, massive hills, quarries and rock deposits; its a fantastic place for geologists.

For our last visit we stayed in a self-catering lodge which was affordable, but put a bit of strain on the cooks among us. This time round, we’re going to make a group booking at a guest house or B&B. There’s a plethora of options over at reasonable priced and close to the important geological areas. The council did consider hotels as an option, however we felt that the prices were not within our range. Also, Lord knows what damage Tim could cause in a hotel bar!

If you’d like to have a look at the website and send us over some suggestions before next week’s meeting, we can put it to a vote and make the booking. Now onto transport, we thought we’d leave this discussion up to next week’s meeting as well. There are some decent train links into Snowdonia, but once there we would need a vehicle to take us round to the sites. We could hike between each point of interest, but this would no doubt prove to be a little too strenuous and I, for one, would like a holiday not a boot camp! For the sake of economy and practicality, a minibus might well be the soundest option. We shall decide the particulars next week!snowdonia map

The only thing left for you to do is register your interest! The membership at the moment is the highest its been in over three years. We had twelve us on the last trip and I’d love for us to get to twenty for this one. There’s nothing like a share experience or challenge to bring a group of people closer together. You never know, you might get lucky and make a discovery like Dave and Sal!

Until next week!


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Trip to the Lake District

Hey all! Hope you’re all doing well. We are very proud today to announce our first proper trip since we re-formed. We are planning to take the team for an amazing trip to the fascinating Lake District. This is one of the oldest ancient forests in the country, part of the expanse of forest land that used to stretch from the New Forest in Hampshire all the way to the great Sherwood Forest. The Forest of Bowland was the North-Western tip of this great expanse and survives their to this day along with the Fells of Cumbria, a beautiful area of geological interest.



The geology of this fascinating and beautiful area encapsulates over 340 million years of complex development. The area has been covered under the deep sea and with tropical lagoons. This means there have been coral reefs in this land, there have been swamps and large deltas and huge glaciers and gigantic sheets of ice. All these events in the geological history of the area have created a amazingly diverse set of sediment rock in the area. The world famous ‘Bowland Series’ contains shale, sand stones, lime stones and milestone grit.


Some of The Forest of Bowland’s beautiful waterfalls.

Se we are very excited about this, we were thinking of probably going down for a weekend, leaving on Friday evening and returning on Sunday. For accommodation we have been looking at renting a barn conversion from Bowland Fell Park.  It looks like a beautiful way of settling down in the area so that we can get down to some proper geological stuff. Normally we would eat out for all our meals, and there is a nice pub near by, but we should be able to actually eat our evening meals in the barn and make our own lunches. Which would be great! I think it is all really exciting! download (3)

So what do ya’ll think? I think it is a fantastic place and could be a fantastic trip but we are open to suggestions.

See you soon.

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Geology as Ecology

Here at the Liverpool Amateur Geological Society we care deeply about this beautiful earth that we are on and that we study. We feel that by studying it and raising awareness of the study of geology we are raising consciousness around perceiving the earth for what it is: a beautiful living thing that requires attention and appreciation if we are to survive on it. It doesn’t need us to look after it for it to survive. If we keep abusing it it will simply, eventually and inevitably, just eat us up. It is for our good that we look after it. It us for us, for our future and our living. It is for that that we attempt to survive. We need to survive.



That’s all a bit heavy. But it is true! So we are keen environmentalists and preservationists here at The Liverpool Amateur Geological Society. And we’re very excited about the developments in alternative forms of domestic energy production like wood pellets and home wind farms. As a great man once said, you should be the change you want to see in the world. Well, what he actually said was: ‘“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.” which isn’t quite what the false quote says. But hey that’s quotes huh?

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I’m installing a biomass pellet burner at the house and trying move completely onto pellets in time for the winter. Which is rarely the nicest of times not to have heating. But I think I can get through this winter on pellets alone. And I’m going to try. Because it’s worth trying!

And if you want to see a more ecological and environmentally friendly world, you should try to! Get in touch with the experts and give it a go.

Good luck!

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