Herefordshire & Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust

The Trust exists to identify and survey geological and geomorphological sites in the two counties and to promote the establishment and protection of Local Geological Sites by creating and maintaining a database and by close liaison with the local planning authorities, wildlife trusts, natural history societies, schools and colleges, industry, landowners and those who are interested in Earth Science.

Objective 5 (Theme 3)

Establish audit

  • Local geodiversity audits
    Since 2006, the Trust has been working on audits of the geodiversity resources of Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

  • Identifying and recording Local Geological Sites (RIGS)
    A ten year project to identify and record some 5000 sites and to list those sites that are regionally important, making the information available to any interested party. The information is, initially, in the form of data supplied by geologists and geomorphologists. Eventually, sites are designated and given official status by incorporation into Local Development Documents. A current list of these sites is available to all interested bodies such as District and County Councils, schools, colleges and universities and their students, wildlife trusts and professional and amateur geologists and geographers. The Trust’s Geoconservation Database is a computer-based repository of LGS and other important sites.

  • Baseline survey of Worcestershire’s superficial deposits, soils and river systems
    This survey project involved a desk study of the current information on the type and extent of superficial deposits in Worcestershire, fieldwork to identify potential RIGS, digital maps of superficial geology and soils were created and an assessment of exisitng soil information undertaken. Stream sub-catchments in the county were also identified and using an analysis programme, a revised classification of the county’s streams and rivers was made. From this work more detailed descriptions and understanding of Worcestershire’s superficial geology and soils developed, potential RIGS were highlighted, and water courses that may be at risk from changes through development were noted.

  • Geological Records Centre, University of Worcester
    The Trust established the Geological Records Centre (GRC) in 1996 as a repository for information collected and collated by employees and volunteers. The GRC has grown continuously over the years and now contains an extensive archive of information including maps, literature, H&WEHT publications, site records and a rock & fossil collection.

Objective 6 (Theme 4)

Conserve through sites and areas

  • Identifying and recording Local Geological Sites (RIGS)
    A ten year project to identify and record some 5000 sites and to list those sites that are regionally important, making the information available to any interested party. The information is, initially, in the form of data supplied by geologists and geomorphologists. Eventually, sites are designated and given official status by incorporation into Local Development Documents. A current list of these sites is available to all interested bodies such as District and County Councils, schools, colleges and universities and their students, wildlife trusts and professional and amateur geologists and geographers. The Trust’s Geoconservation Database is a computer-based repository of LGS and other important sites.

Objective 7 (Theme 4)

Maintain and enhance through management

  • Community Earth Hertiage Champions
    The project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, aims to increase community awareness and understanding of Earth Heritage by encouraging local groups to champion RIGS sites on their doorstep. This involves local people in monitoring site condition, reporting any changes and/or threats to the site, using it for education and/or recreation and learning about its unique importance and place in the wider geology and landscape of the area. The Trust is currently training the Champions in an introduction to geology and site maintenance. 20 sites and corresponding working party groups are up and running and the Trust are writing comprehensive site management plans informed by the local community effort.

Objective 9 (Theme 5)

Make relevant to the wider world

  • Rock & Fossil Roadshows and Family Fun Days
    At the Roadshows, groups take part in a variety of geological games and activities. Schools are given a set of rock samples and information on rocks, fossils and minerals to take away with them. Family Fun Days are for parents and their children, including similar games and activities to the Rock and Fossil Roadshows and also provide the opportunity to look at rocks under the microscope and to bring in specimens for identification. HLF funded, the roadshows are organised 4/5 times a year across the two counties.

  • Earth Heritage Education Programme
    A Heritage Lottery Fund project locating and developing 12 geological trails and designing and printing 12 trail guides for Hereford Cathedral, Hereford City Centre, Eastnor Estate, Black Mountains, Woolhope Dome, Lickey Hills, Malvern Hills, Bredon Hill, Worcester City Centre, Abberley Hills, Cotswold Escarpment, Forest of Wyre and Rivers Severn and Teme. A number of interpretation panels illustrating the geology and landscape of Herefordshire and Worcestershire were also installed. The design and printing of trail guides and of simple information/educational leaflets, gave clear and concise details relating to rocks, minerals, fossils and landscapes in the countryside and in the built environment. Links to biodiversity and archaeology were also included. The guides were made available to the general public via Tourist Information Centres, museums, countryside centres and bookshops, and promoted interest in geology amongst the general public in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

  • Trail Guides & Guided Walks
    A collection of Explore and Discovery guides published by the Trust. The Explore trail guides take readers on a short, self-guided walk (or drive) explaining the geology along the way. There are trails located in towns that explore the diverse uses of local rocks as building stones, whilst other trails are located out in the countryside that explore how and where the local rocks were formed and how they influence the nature of the landscape seen along the trail. With more than 25 trails throughout the two counties.

Objective 11 (Theme 5)

Create resources to help integrate geodiversity into learning

  • Rock & Fossil Roadshows and Family Fun Days
    At the Roadshows, groups take part in a variety of geological games and activities. Schools are given a set of rock samples and information on rocks, fossils and minerals to take away with them. Family Fun Days are for parents and their children, including similar games and activities to the Rock and Fossil Roadshows and also provide the opportunity to look at rocks under the microscope and to bring in specimens for identification. HLF funded, the roadshows are organised 4/5 times a year across the two counties.

  • Baseline survey of Worcestershire’s superficial deposits, soils and river systems
    This survey project involved a desk study of the current information on the type and extent of superficial deposits in Worcestershire, fieldwork to identify potential RIGS, digital maps of superficial geology and soils were created and an assessment of exisitng soil information undertaken. Stream sub-catchments in the county were also identified and using an analysis programme, a revised classification of the county’s streams and rivers was made. From this work more detailed descriptions and understanding of Worcestershire’s superficial geology and soils developed, potential RIGS were highlighted, and water courses that may be at risk from changes through development were noted.

Objective 12 (Theme 6)

Involve more people

  • Community Earth Hertiage Champions
    The project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, aims to increase community awareness and understanding of Earth Heritage by encouraging local groups to champion RIGS sites on their doorstep. This involves local people in monitoring site condition, reporting any changes and/or threats to the site, using it for education and/or recreation and learning about its unique importance and place in the wider geology and landscape of the area. The Trust is currently training the Champions in an introduction to geology and site maintenance. 20 sites and corresponding working party groups are up and running and the Trust are writing comprehensive site management plans informed by the local community effort.

  • Formation of the Geology Trusts
    H&WEHT were instrumental in the formation of, and gaining funding for the support of, the Western Association of UK RIGS Groups, now known as The Geology Trusts. The Geology Trusts is a national umbrella organisation for Geoconservation and Earth Heritage groups. It is a county-based association working in a similar way to the Wildlife Trusts.

Objective 13 (Theme 6)

Increase financial support

  • Formation of the Geology Trusts
    H&WEHT were instrumental in the formation of, and gaining funding for the support of, the Western Association of UK RIGS Groups, now known as The Geology Trusts. The Geology Trusts is a national umbrella organisation for Geoconservation and Earth Heritage groups. It is a county-based association working in a similar way to the Wildlife Trusts.

Objective 14 (Theme 6)

Encourage working together

  • Formation of the Geology Trusts
    H&WEHT were instrumental in the formation of, and gaining funding for the support of, the Western Association of UK RIGS Groups, now known as The Geology Trusts. The Geology Trusts is a national umbrella organisation for Geoconservation and Earth Heritage groups. It is a county-based association working in a similar way to the Wildlife Trusts.