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LATEST NEWS [updated 12th February 2024]

Our next event

Lecture: Geology of Stonehenge and the Bluestone controversy

Date: Saturday, 9th March 2024 – 6.00pm

Speaker: Professor Peter Worsley, Emeritus Professor of Quaternary Geology, University of Reading

Venue: Sir Clive Granger Building, University of Nottingham – Google Maps

View Event Flyer


Latest EMGS Circular
For updates on upcoming events and Society news see our latest EMGS Circular - November 2023


EMGS 60th Anniversary Conference October 2024
To celebrate our 60th anniversary, EMGS shall be holding a one day conference on Saturday 12th October 2024 at the University of Nottingham. The event shall commence in mid-morning and conclude in the early evening, and will include lectures and posters on some of the latest geological research either on the geology of the East Midlands itself, or being carried out by students at the region’s major scientific institutions.

Confirmed speakers and topics are:
  1. Dr Tim Pharaoh (BGS) – The Charnwood Terrane Re-visited
  2. Professor Paul Wignall (Univ. of Leeds) – The end-Triassic extinction in the Midlands
  3. Professor David Bridgland (Durham University) – Quaternary evolution of the Trent Basin
  4. Professor Cathy Hollis – (Univ. of Manchester) – Carboniferous Limestone geothermal systems
  5. Dr Mike Spence (BGS) – The UK’s national geo-energy observatories

Please look out for more information on this event in upcoming EMGS Circulars and on the EMGS website as plans and a detailed programme evolve.


Mercian Geologist
Our latest issue of Mercian Geologist (Volume 20, Part 4) will be distributed to members in early November 2023. If you are an EMGS Member and have not yet received your copy, please contact secretary@emgs.org.uk

If any members have back issues of the Mercian which are now surplus to requirements, please could you contact our secretary@emgs.org.uk as we frequently get requests for back issues which we are now unable to supply. Any help would be appreciated.


Peak District Geowalk launched
On the 1st January 2023, the Peak District GeoWalk was launched by Albert Benghiat and Martin Whiteley. The website is at https://peakdistrictgeowalk.org/ and presents a long-distance circular GeoWalk divided into 14 individual sections, each of which can be downloaded and used in the field.
Look out for our review of the Geowalk in the latest issue of Mercian Geologist (Volume 20 Part 4, October 2023).


EMGS Facebook page
Facebook users are encouraged to visit and follow the EMGS Facebook page, which includes the latest information on a wide range of geological news and events from EMGS, other societies and organisations, based both locally and worldwide. Please ‘follow’ our page – more ‘followers’ helps to automatically broaden the range and currency of News and Events shown on our page.



Download link (MS Word files)
Membership Form:
Gift Aid Form:
Privacy Policy:
Gritstone edge, Stanage, Peak District

The East Midlands Geological Society was formed in 1964 by a group of professional and amateur enthusiasts, who recognized the need for such a group in this area of great geological interest. This mix of people from all backgrounds has remained a feature of the Society to this day and gives it a friendly relaxed atmosphere which appeals to newcomers. We are based in Nottingham, are affiliated to the Geologists’ Association, and enjoy cordial relations with other geological societies and with the British Geological Survey at Keyworth.


The Society is open to all and welcomes new members with:

  1. + Six lectures each year
  2. + Six field trips each year
  3. + The Mercian Geologist, our scientific journal
  4. + Regular news letters
  5. + Information on geological events

While the main activities of the Society are aimed at furthering interest in geology, the social side a Christmas buffet after the December meeting and also an annual dinner. The Society holds its indoor meetings at Nottingham University, to which we remain indebted for the use of their lecture theatre in the School of Geography. The East Midlands Geological Society is open to all, and we maintain interests and links with local geology and also with the wider geological sciences; new members are always welcome.

Gritstone edge, Stanage, Peak District

MERCIAN GEOLOGIST : Once a year the society publishes the Mercian Geologist, its own journal, compiled by an editor who is a member of the Council. Papers are invited and published on all geological topics and whilst items on East Midlands geology are especially welcome, there is no restriction on the scope of papers considered. In recent years the journal has been refurbished and remodelled to give a more modern look, and now has more news features, informal reports and comment. The editor is pleased to receive non-scientific input from members on the society's affairs.

Mercian Geologist - notes for contributors

Click the front covers below to view the contents of each publication.

LANDMARKS OF GEOLOGY : The Society publishes the "Landmarks of Geology" series from the Mercian Geologist in the Local Geology section, and invites you to use this valuable source of reference. The series will continue to grow with successive items in our journal. Any reference to these items should cite the Mercian Geologist and the issue that they originate from, and not this website.


Mercian Geologist journals are now available to download for all EMGS site visitors - Click here

The later issues go online a year after their initial publication. For the current issue, printed copies are available as above from the secretary.

The archives are now in preparation, and complete runs will only be available some time in the future.

An index for Volumes 1-12 (1964-1991) was issued as Volume 12, Number 4.



The fourth edition of the very popular guide, Sandstone Caves of Nottingham, is now available. Updated from the previous edition, it now contains 75 maps and photographs, all in full colour.


The third edition, now published by the Society, of Trevor Ford’s classic and definitive book on Blue John is now available. Fully revised, up-dated and expanded, it has 80 pages containing 152 photographs and maps all in colour.

To purchase, please send a cheque (£5.00 for Caves book; £7.00 for Blue John book), payable to EMGS, to:
EMGS Book Sales
11 Selby Road
Nottingham NG2 7BP

Both including UK postage.
Castle Rock sandstone, Nottingham

EMGS Lectures are held in the School of Geography Sir Clive Granger Building on the Nottingham University Park campus (for full directions click here).
If travelling by car, please park in the Main University Visitors Car Park (Google Maps) – parking is free on Saturday evenings. The Sir Clive Granger Building is on the left as you enter the car park. Please enter the building by the rear doors, accessible via a gentle ramp adjacent to the car park entrance.

The Society is indebted to the School of Geography at the University, who are sponsoring our lectures, for the use of these facilities.


Non Members are welcome

Date Speaker Subject (click for info)
13/01/2024 - 6.00 pm
Dr Jack Matthews
10/02/2024 - 6.00 pm
Dr Tony Waltham
09/03/2024 - 6.00 pm
Professor Peter Worsley
13/04/2024 - 6.00 pm
Paul Hildreth
Celebrating the Origins of Animal Life: Building a UNESCO Global Geopark in Charnwood Forest, UK
Saturday, 13th January 2024 - 6pm
Dr Jack Matthews, Geoheritage Conservation and Interpretation Officer, Charnwood Forest Geopark

Charnwood Forest in Leicestershire is host to some of the oldest animal fossils in the world, many of which have been key to our understanding of the rise of animals during the Ediacaran period around 570 million years ago. In addition to its internationally significant palaeontology, the area is also home to a number of working and historic quarries whose lithologies have shaped the built environment of the United Kingdom for more than 2000 years. This presentation will outline the internationally significant geodiversity of Charnwood Forest - including the outstanding ancient fossils - and the ways it has shaped the landscape, communities, and people of Britain’s ‘unexpected upland’.

Diamond Geology
Saturday, 10th February 2024 - 6pm
Dr Tony Waltham, President, East Midlands Geological Society

In both their geology and their industry, diamonds are like no other mineral. For centuries, the world’s supply came almost entirely from the alluvials of Golconda in India. Only in 1870 were kimberlite pipes discovered, and it was a long time after that before their gas-rich explosive origins were really appreciated. The main source of gem-quality stones switched to Kimberley in South Africa, but this has subsequently been displaced by Botswana, Russia and then Canada. Exploration for diamond-bearing pipes continues today, and has involved some exciting stories with both lone prospectors and major companies.

Geology of Stonehenge and the Bluestone controversy
Saturday, 9th March 2024 - 6pm
Professor Peter Worsley, Emeritus Professor of Quaternary Geology, University of Reading

Stonehenge has recently come into the public eye due to the publication of the results of new geochemical work. The Sun newspaper declared ‘Mystery of where the giant rocks came from SOLVED’ whereas The Guardian was more cautious with a headline ‘Archaeologists discover likely source of Stonehenge’s giant sarsen stones’. The senior English Heritage properties historian said that she was delighted that one of the most intriguing questions about Stonehenge had been answered. The background to this euphoria will be critically examined and the geological fundamentals reviewed.

Apart from the sarsens, the other geological problem lies with the assemblage of ‘foreign’ rocks incorporated into the henge structure, i.e. the so-called Bluestones. There now appears to be little doubt that the Bluestones are primarily derived from outcrops in south-west Wales but the mechanism whereby they arrived to Salisbury Plain is far from being resolved. Most archaeologists have accepted the hypothesis that Neolithic people were responsible for the transport of the Bluestones from their source to the plain but over time the favoured routes have changed drastically. In contrast geologists have been split between those who accept the human transport mode and those who favour natural earth surface processes as being responsible for transportation – i.e. glaciation. The strengths and weaknesses of these competing ideas will be discussed.

This lecture will be preceded by the EMGS Annual General Meeting.

The Lower Cretaceous ‘East Lindsey Group’ – a jewel in the geological crown of Lincolnshire
Saturday, 13th April 2024 - 6pm
Paul Hildreth, General Secretary and Past President, Yorkshire Geological Society

The county of Lincolnshire is often overlooked as a venue for geology field trips and even research but it possesses several opportunities for examining significant and interesting exposures. The Elsham Sandstone is a unique, local deposit within the Kimmeridge Clay Formation and at Welton-le-Wold neighbouring sites offer exposures of three glacial tills and an interglacial gravel deposit. 

The county’s jewel in the crown however is the under-published Lower Cretaceous sequence coeval, at least in part, with the very well-known Wealden Group of south east England and the enigmatic Speeton Clay of Filey Bay. This ‘East Lindsey Group’ is unique to Lincolnshire. It thins northwards to feather out north of Caistor and experiences facies changes in the area beneath The Wash which pass into an East Midlands suite transitional with those of the south of England. 

The impact of the ‘East Lindsey Group’ is threefold. It has influenced the shape of the western edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds producing an attractive fringing landscape between the broad Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian - Kimmeridgian) clay vale and the Chalk scarp. It has supplied three locally-important and distinctive building stones that can be recognised in the villages and towns of East Lindsey. It has provided the raw material, ironstone, for a relatively short-lived but locally important mining industry, the scars of which are still visible in the hillsides and valleys of the Claxby and Nettleton area. 

The various lithologies and palaeontology of the rocks comprising the ‘East Lindsey Group’ allow for a reconstruction of the palaeogeography of the Lincolnshire area during early Cretaceous times (145 – 113 million years ago) and its relationship with other parts of the present day United Kingdom.

Gritstone edge, The Roaches, Peak District

Please note that all field trips require booking.
Hard hats are required on all trips.

Members should book field trip places with Tim Colman (Tel: 0115 9374743)
Non members should register with the secretary
Field trip
Click for info
30/04/23 (Sun)
Trip: Day visit to Ecton copper mine, near Warslow, Staffordshire
Leaders: Dr Richard Shaw and Tim Colman
17/05/23 (Wed)
Trip: Afternoon visit to Ashover in Derbyshire.
Leaders: Tim Colman
04/06/23 (Sun)
Trip: Day visit to the Claxby area of Lincolnshire.
Leaders: Paul Hildreth
27-28/06/2023 (Tue-Wed)
Trip: Two-day visit to the Clitheroe, Bowland and Crummack Dale areas of Lancashire.
Leaders: Peter del Strother
27/09/2023 (Wed)
Trip: Afternoon visit to the Permian ‘Magnesian Limestone’ at Clowne, north Derbyshire.
Leaders: Bob Browne (East Midlands Geological Society)
28/09/2023 (Thurs)
Trip: Afternoon visit to an active oil production site at Wressle in North Lincolnshire - Courtesy of Egdon Resources
Leaders: Mark Abbott and/or Martin Dunham (Egdon Resources)

Members are reminded that the Society has only public liability insurance and that personal accident insurance is a matter for individual members to arrange as they consider necessary. Up to date hard hats are obligatory for all field excursions involving quarries or cliff faces and strongly recommended for all trips. High visibility clothing is sometimes required in working quarries. High visibility tabards can be obtained from GA Enterprises, 126 Fleetside, W. Molesey, Surrey KT8 2NQ at £4.70 incl. pp. Members without suitable hard hats may be refused access to certain sites! Hard hats can be obtained from many Builders' Merchants, Wickes, B&Q Warehouse etc. for about £4.00.

Any non-members attending field excursions will have to pay a temporary membership fee of £2.00 and all participants are reminded that they must comply with any instructions from excursion leaders or, for example, quarry managers or their employees on Health & Safety issues.

Please use the Booking Form in the EMGS Circular or indicate your interest in any (or all) of the above trips to Tim Colman - the Field Meetings organiser at timcolman@tiscali.co.uk

Day visit to Ecton copper mine, near Warslow, Staffordshire
Sunday 30th April 2023
Dr Richard Shaw and Tim Colman.

Meeting time: 10am.
Meeting place: Ecton layby (map supplied to participants) 

What3Words: compiler.compiler.trespass

OS Grid SK097582.

Details: The trip will include a 2-hour underground visit to the Deep Ecton Level which shows spectacular folding of the Carboniferous hostrocks and large man made caverns. There will also be a roadside walk to the structurally complex Apes Tor quarries and, for the more energetic, a walk to the top of Ecton Hill to visit the historic Engine House (National Trust) and see the extensive views over the Namurian shales and sandstones of the Manifold Valley to the edge of the Derbyshire limestone plateau. We will finish with examination of Quaternary limestone breccias.

Afternoon visit to Ashover in Derbyshire.
Wednesday 17th May 2023
Tim Colman

Meeting time: 1pm

Meeting Place: Ashover Village Hall car park, Millken Lane.

What3Words: tech.rhino.stand

OS Grid: SK351632

Details: This small area encompasses Carboniferous limestones and volcanics, lead mining and Namurian mudstones and sandstones in a very picturesque setting. We will walk down to the River Amber valley and then up on footpaths past volcanic tuffs, fossiliferous limestones and Namurian shales and an old lead mine to the Millstone Grit outcrop of Cocking Tor with a panoramic view back over the valley. We will return by a woodland path, past abandoned quarries and lead mines, down to the Amber and see excellent exposures of the Ashover Tuff.

Day visit to the Claxby area of Lincolnshire.
Sunday 4th June 2023
Paul Hildreth

Meeting time: Morning – time to be advised.

Meeting place: To be advised.

Details: Investigation of the Cretaceous and Jurassic rock formations including the Claxby Iron Formation and the Red Chalk. Some sites are likely to be fossiliferous.

Two-day visit to the Clitheroe, Bowland and Crummack Dale areas of Lancashire.
Tuesday 27th - Wednesday 28th June 2023
Peter del Strother

Meeting time:  To be advised.

Meeting place:  To be advised.

Details: One day will visit the famous Carboniferous Salthill Waulsortian mudmounds (aka ‘reefs’) followed by examining the excellent ‘geology as shown by the topography’ in the Trough of Bowland. The second day will visit the Crummack Dale area for Carboniferous limestone topography, including limestone pavements, and two spectacular basal Carboniferous unconformities with Silurian turbidites.

Afternoon visit to the Permian ‘Magnesian Limestone’ at Clowne, north Derbyshire.
Wednesday 27th September 2023
Bob Browne (East Midlands Geological Society)

Meeting time: 3.00pm

Meeting place: To book a place on this walk please contact Tim Colman (the EMGS Field Meetings Organiser) by email at timcolman@tiscali.co.uk . Further details about the trip and meeting location will be provided by return.

Details: This afternoon field trip will demonstrate the Carboniferous Coal Measures and Permian ‘Magnesian Limestone’ (Cadeby Formation) exposed in the Clowne Greenway, a former railway cutting now restored as a footpath.

Learn about coal-forming swamps, fluctuating ice caps and climate change in the Carboniferous period over 300 million years ago, and how continental collision transformed this landscape into hot tropical deserts and seas many millions of years later during the Permian period. Discover why these rocks have been vital for economic development in the East Midlands and beyond during the last 200 years.

This Geowalk is suitable for wheelchair users as the cutting has easy access with a tarmac pathway and gentle gradients. Total duration approximately 2 hours.

Afternoon visit to an active oil production site at Wressle in North Lincolnshire - Courtesy of Egdon Resources
Thursday 28th September 2023
Mark Abbott and/or Martin Dunham (Egdon Resources)

Meeting time: 1.00pm

Meeting place: To book a place on this visit please contact Tim Colman (the EMGS Field Meetings Organiser) by email at timcolman@tiscali.co.uk . Further details about the trip and meeting location will be provided by return.

Details: This visit provides a rare opportunity to visit an active oilfield drilling site in the East Midlands. The afternoon will commence with a presentation giving an overview of the oilfield (regional geological setting, sub-surface structure and stratigraphy, history of exploration), details of the wells on site and future development plans, followed by a tour of the facilities. Total duration 2-3 hours.

Limestone reeks knolls, Upper Dovedale, Peak District