Geoconservation clearance work with a public face at Kendal End Quarry, 12th October 2014.
For our third visit to improve the geological exposure at this most southerly of the Lickey Hills quarries, we decided to try something new. Why not advertise this as a public event and encourage people to come along and see what we’re doing? Group member Laura Hamilton produced publicity for various media – twitter, facebook, and our website, plus printed notices for the Lickey Hills Visitor Centre. A trail of arrows guided our visitors from all directions to the Kendal End Quarry, a small exposure of the Lickey Quartzite tucked away in the undergrowth at the southern end of the Lickey Hills ridge. Our small but enthusiastic workforce was ably led, as usual, by Senior Ranger Steve Hinton. We set to work clearing moss and soil from the tilted beds of the exposed rock face, also digging deeper to increase the exposed area. Gradually a zone of crushed rocks emerged on the left side of the quarry, revealing clear evidence of a fault line. Though this quarry does not have the ‘wow’ factor of the overfold in the huge Barnt Green Road Quarry, it is important for comparison with the other exposures of the Lickey Quartzite along the Lickey ridge to give us a better understanding of the complex folding activity which created the Lickey Hills.
Kendal End Quarry has now proved important for another reason. It is ideally situated for attracting the attention of passing visitors to the park. As people passed by on the steps leading up above the quarry, Steve challenged them to come and see a 460 million year old beach! That temptation, plus the unmissable arrow trail was enough to bring numerous visitors young and old, many of whom had no idea that there were quarries in the Lickey Hills, or had ever given much thought to what lay beneath their feet. It was very gratifying to have this opportunity to awaken a new layer of interest in people’s minds, and the response of the children was amazing.
Beverley Perks’ two young children Stephen and Sally quickly got stuck in with suitable tools to join the work force and it was hard to tear them away! We thank them for their contribution, and all our visitors for taking such an interest in our work. What could be more gratifying than the sight of a small child proudly clutching her fresh-faced specimen of that 460 million year old beach to save amongst her other treasures? There are no fossils, no specially pretty colours, or shapes, or eye-catching minerals, but that small sample has an equally important story to tell within the amazing tapestry which makes up the land beneath our feet.
This was a day to be remembered for all of those of us who were present, and we’ll certainly be having more ‘open’ clearance sessions in the future. So, keep checking the calendar, and come and see the Lickey Hills Geo-Champions at work. Visitors will be very welcome.