Saturday, 18 October 2014

Saturday 18th October 2014: AONB Youth Rangers geology-themed walk and caving

A great day out with Sarah Sawyer, Andrew Blake, other adult volunteers and the Youth Rangers. Walked from Bearse Farm near St Briavels to Clearwell Caves via Slade Valley (travertine terraces), Clearwell Quarry, Clearwell village and Lambsquay Wood. At Clearwell Caves we changed into boiler suits and went on an expertly guided underground tour of Old Ham Mine (British Mine) that included wriggling through the "Rabbit Run" and the "Mousehole". The iron ore/ochre workings cover 600 acres and descend to 600 feet, although their extraordinarily high carbon dioxide levels prevent access to the deeper half. The photographs include some that I took on a reconnaissance trip on Friday 26th September.

Travertine terraces on Slade Brook


Magnificent veteran yew tree entwined with a block of Crease Limestone (Gully Oolite) in "scowles" at Lambsquay Wood. It is said that a similar landscape at Devil's Chapel above Lydney Park provided inspiration for J. R. R. Tolkein while he was at an archaeological dig nearby.

About to go underground

Locked entrance to Old Ham Mine

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