The Geology Trusts

The Geology Trusts is a constituted not-for-profit organisation. It is a national umbrella organisation, established both to give central support and to act as a self-help group for county geoconservation groups. These groups are our members, and our executive is formed by a representative from each member group. We meet to share experience and ideas, shape best practice and to develop collaborative funded projects for our own members and with other conservation organisations.

Objective 2 (Theme 2)

Recognition in policy

  • Responding to national consultations
    Responding to national consultations on behalf of the whole membership of the Geology Trusts. With most national consultations, we seek the views of the members of the Geology Trusts and compile a single response from our national body. Where appropriate (i.e. if a point will be best made through strength of numbers / many separate respondents), we encourage our member groups to respond to a consultation, in addition to the central Geology Trusts response.

Objective 3 (Theme 2)

Demonstrate relevance to sustainable development

  • Strategic Stone Study
    The Geology Trusts worked with English Heritage to develop their Strategic Stone Study project and carried out pilot projects for this in several counties. Later, all of the Geology Trusts member groups participated, via a contract negotiated between the GT centrally and EH. The SSS aims to provide minerals planners with the information they need to protect sources of building stone that may be needed to repair and maintain heritage stone buildings across the country. It gathered information in each county on the various building stone types, buildings in which each stone type has been used, and quarries / pits from which it was sourced. An illustrated written guide (atlas) to the building stone of each county was also produced. All data is now freely available on the website of the British Geological Survey.

Objective 4 (Theme 2)

Advocate design that enhances

  • Strategic Stone Study
    The Geology Trusts worked with English Heritage to develop their Strategic Stone Study project and carried out pilot projects for this in several counties. Later, all of the Geology Trusts member groups participated, via a contract negotiated between the GT centrally and EH. The SSS aims to provide minerals planners with the information they need to protect sources of building stone that may be needed to repair and maintain heritage stone buildings across the country. It gathered information in each county on the various building stone types, buildings in which each stone type has been used, and quarries / pits from which it was sourced. An illustrated written guide (atlas) to the building stone of each county was also produced. All data is now freely available on the website of the British Geological Survey.

Objective 5 (Theme 3)

Establish audit

  • Strategic Stone Study
    The Geology Trusts worked with English Heritage to develop their Strategic Stone Study project and carried out pilot projects for this in several counties. Later, all of the Geology Trusts member groups participated, via a contract negotiated between the GT centrally and EH. The SSS aims to provide minerals planners with the information they need to protect sources of building stone that may be needed to repair and maintain heritage stone buildings across the country. It gathered information in each county on the various building stone types, buildings in which each stone type has been used, and quarries / pits from which it was sourced. An illustrated written guide (atlas) to the building stone of each county was also produced. All data is now freely available on the website of the British Geological Survey.

  • RIGS survey project
    The RIGS survey project was the first collaborative project organised by the Geology Trusts in 2001-2. It was funded by the then Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR), and allowed seven county geoconservation groups to carry out extensive surveys of their local geodiversity leading to the designation 330 new RIGS sites. See www.thegeologytrusts.org/pub/projects/collaborative-projects/rigs-survey/

  • Soils and Quaternary project
    The Soils and Quaternary project was a collaborative project organised by the Geology Trusts in 2009-10 was funded by the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF). It allowed seven of our member county geoconservation groups to monitor the condition of all their aggregates RIGS / LGS sites, and following training, to survey the soils and Quaternary deposits at or surrounding those sites. This new data was then added to the site records. The project equipped each county group with an auger, trowels, Munsell Charts, soils survey journals, and guidance notes, and gave participants the skills / confidence to include data on soils and Quaternary deposits at other sites in the future. See www.thegeologytrusts.org/pub/projects/collaborative-projects/managing-promoting-aggregate-local-geological-sites/

  • Contributing to the Natural England database of Local Geological Sites (LGS).
    The Geology Trusts coordinates the input of all data from our member county geoconservation groups to this national database, providing basic descriptions of the sites, boundary maps and up to date information on the condition of the sites.

Objective 6 (Theme 4)

Conserve through sites and areas

  • RIGS survey project
    The RIGS survey project was the first collaborative project organised by the Geology Trusts in 2001-2. It was funded by the then Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR), and allowed seven county geoconservation groups to carry out extensive surveys of their local geodiversity leading to the designation 330 new RIGS sites. See www.thegeologytrusts.org/pub/projects/collaborative-projects/rigs-survey/

Objective 7 (Theme 4)

Maintain and enhance through management

  • Conserving Geodiversity at Aggregate Sites project
    This collaborative project selected sixteen key sites across four counties, where practical conservation work could be carried out in partnership with local landowners. A holistic site management plan template was developed which considered all other interests alongside the geology, and this was used to write site management plans for the sixteen case study locations. This template has been updated and used repeatedly around the country. It is available on our website.

Objective 8 (Theme 4)

Share good practice

  • Training courses
    During various projects, the Geology Trusts has provided training for people from our member county geoconservation groups on various topics, including: basic soils surveying methods, quaternary deposits, mounting community events, including rock and fossil roadshows, and group capacity building.

  • Provision of guidance documents and templates
    Guidance documents were produced following the training courses above. These are available for download from our website, together with a template for writing site management plans, which was developed in an earlier project ), a sample site designation proforma, and the nationally agreed form for the condition monitoring of sites (which was developed for Natural England by one of our member groups, Herefordshire & Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust).

  • The Geology Trusts website - guidance
    The Geology Trusts website links to national guidance on geoconseravation. Information on database products developed by county geology trusts is also available.

  • Geology Trusts meetings
    All of our regular meetings provide a time for the sharing of ideas and experience, updates from each county on their involvement in local and regional projects, groupings and partnerships, and work towards developing new collaborative projects.

Objective 9 (Theme 5)

Make relevant to the wider world

  • Displays
    These have included displays and posters about our work at conferences and meetings, such as the Geologist's Association conference in Worcester in 2011 on geoconservation for the 21st century, as well as displays for the public at the Natural History Museum and Geologists' Association regional roadshows, which have included activities for children, samples and sale of publications from all GT counties, and fliers about our website which points the web-reader towards the county group websites for local information.

  • Central list of all the publications and trail guides produced by all the GT county groups
    Provision of a central list of all the publications and trail guides produced by all the GT county groups - listed alphabetically by geographical location - available for download from our website.

Objective 11 (Theme 5)

Create resources to help integrate geodiversity into learning

  • Central list of all the publications and trail guides produced by all the GT county groups
    Provision of a central list of all the publications and trail guides produced by all the GT county groups - listed alphabetically by geographical location - available for download from our website.

  • Web-based learning resources
    The Geology Trusts website provide many links to self-learning and teaching website and resources. There is also information on our website explaining the terms Earth heritage and 'geodiversity' and the exceptional richness of this in Britain.

  • Public displays
    We have mounted public displays at various events including regional roadshows and at the Natural History Museum. These have included learning activities for children, selling publications from all GT counties, and providing information from the Earth Science Education Unit (ESEU) for teachers. We provide information to enthuse the visitor about our geodiversity and provide information on, and encouragement to participate in, the work of county geoconservation groups.

Objective 12 (Theme 6)

Involve more people

  • Public displays
    We have mounted public displays at various events including regional roadshows and at the Natural History Museum. These have included learning activities for children, selling publications from all GT counties, and providing information from the Earth Science Education Unit (ESEU) for teachers. We provide information to enthuse the visitor about our geodiversity and provide information on, and encouragement to participate in, the work of county geoconservation groups.

  • The Geology Trusts website
    Our website is aimed at both the public and the geoconservationist. It is written and illustrated with the intention of inspiring the reader about the value of our Earth heritage and geodiversity in Britain, and to encourage involvement in the work of county geoconservation groups. At all opportunities, it points the web-reader towards the county groups, giving contact details and inviting participation.

  • News articles
    We place news articles about the wonderful geodiversity of Britain and the work of the Geology Trusts in various publications. These have included the popular and widely read Down to Earth magazine, Earth Heritage magazine, the National Trust conservation news bulletin, GCUK newsletter and local newsletters.

  • Capacity building projects.
    Several of our collaborative projects have either focussed on capacity building through the recruitment and training of volunteers, or have provided opportunities for participating county groups to invite volunteers to assist with work. An outstanding project delivering on these objectives was the Lottery funded Volunteer Development Project.

Objective 13 (Theme 6)

Increase financial support

  • Geology Trusts collaborative projects
    All of our Geology Trusts collaborative projects are designed to bring funding to participating county geoconservation groups to carry out their work of recording, conserving and promoting local geodiversity. Centrally developed and submitted bids removes the time and cost burden of project scoping from county groups, allowing them to focus on delivering work on the ground.

  • Information on grants
    The Geology Trusts compile and circulate information on grants, funding opportunities and charitable status options. The Geology Trusts has good communications arrangements. As well as having face to face meetings, we communicate effectively and frequently by email and are trialling the use of teleconferencing. Our secretary keeps a list of potential funding sources and circulates all latest information to county groups. We have also shared experience regarding the process and benefits of becoming a charity or charitable incorporated organisation (CIO).

Objective 14 (Theme 6)

Encourage working together

  • Regional Geodiversity Partnerships
    Not only are Geology Trusts projects developed for our member groups to work together, but we have also managed projects that had our organisation working with other bodies concerned with geoconservation. An example would be a project run with Geoconservation UK to establish Regional Geodiversity Partnerships across England. These partnerships bring together the county geoconservation groups across each region to work together and with local authorities and other conservation interests.

  • Sharing and circulating information
    The Geology Trusts centrally circulate information to all of its members and other organisations with geodiversity interests when appropriate. We included in our regular discussions and emails information on and encouragement to county groups to participate in such local bodies as Local Sites Partnerships, Landscape Partnership projects, Local Nature Partnerships, Nature Improvement Areas, etc. We also regularly remind all groups to contribute to the UKGAP.

  • All Geology Trusts meetings
    We are a self-help group, made up of representatives of county geoconservation organisations across the country. We meet 3 times a year, plus have regular communication by email, telephone and teleconferencing. We work together all the time to share ideas, develop best practice, and generate collaborative projects.

  • Attendance at workshops and forums that bring together organisations to support geodiversity
    The Geology Trusts sends a representative to regular meetings of the Geoconservation Commission, Earth Science Education Forum, All Party Earth and Environmental Science Group, English Geodiversity Forum and other ad hoc meetings, conferences and workshops.