WGCG Spring 2021 Newsletter - Flipbook - Page 18
Spring 2021 Newsletter
Monitoring Warwickshire’s Geology SSSI
Towards the end of October 2020, we learnt that Natural England (NE) was about to offer contracts to
monitor many of the English geology Sites of Special Science Interest. The approach to take up the
opportunity to bid came through the Geology Trust (GT) which is a consortium of local geology groups. Julie
Harrald acted as overall coordinator and carried a huge burden to liaise with NE on behalf of County groups
across England. WGCG were contracted to monitor five sites in Warwickshire. In return, WGCG will receive
a small income from fees and expenses. The downside is that we received a large amount of briefing
paperwork and the bad news that the monitoring should be completed by the end of January 2021. NE
records were out-of-date and efforts to gain owners details and obtain permissions to access on private land
and working quarries in order to prevent casual visits was time consuming. In the end, the deadline proved
unrealistic and so this is only an interim report to members. It was an opportunity to put into practice the
experience gained through the Conservation Committee in condition monitoring WGCG’s Local Geological
Sites (LGS). Max Down (CC Chair) looked after the task of liaising with Julie Harrald and Natural England.
This report identifies the features which qualify the locations for designation as SSSIs. When the survey is
completed, we anticipate that there will be more detailed accounts of the monitoring in the Autumn
Newsletter and on the WGCG website.
Griff Hill Quarry (Griff No.4) SSSIID 2000082
This quarry is on Gypsy Lane north of Bedworth. It is a site of national importance due to its excellent sections
through a 20 - 30-metre-thick sill of Lower Palaeozoic age (Ordovician?), intruded into Middle Cambrian
“Stockingford Shales Group". It is the best exposed sequence of alkaline igneous differentiation in England
(although it may be simply described as a diorite). Differentiation took place as crystals settled, leading to
a coarser, ultramafic black rock at the base of the sill, and a finer, less dense, paler rock above. Shale beds
at and near the sill contact are thermally metamorphosed.
Griff Hill Quarry: the
main dark face to left
and in the distance is
the diorite; foreground
are the Cambrian rocks.