Mendip Rocks will be spread out over the summer and early autumn this year, bringing to life the rocks that created the Mendip Hills.
Step back in time and explore an amazing 420 million years of geology right under your feet. A wide range of fun and inspiring events will be provided by the festival team from the Mendip Hills AONB, Somerset Earth Science Centre and The Mendip Society.
Adel Avery (Festival Co-ordinator), “The Mendips have a unique and very special landscape, and this will be a great chance to get out and see some of Mendips best kept geological secrets, with many events being held at sites that are not usually open to the public.”
“There is something for everyone from family fun days, fossil hunts, geo discovery walks, tours in working and disused quarries and caves, geo lectures, stone carving and art workshops.”
On 4 August the team will be at It’s A Blast at Westbury Quarry – 10am to 4pm. A unique chance to see inside a closed quarry, which is now a haven for wildlife as well as being a site used for safety testing of explosives for humanitarian work.
There will be a raffle on entry for one lucky winner to push the button to blow up a scrap car, in a safe and managed way, with expert Nigel Taylor – before midday.
Also back this year will be escorted tours from Somerset Earth Science Centre into working basalt and limestone quarries, including the purer limestone quarried at Batts Combe, Cheddar, where we will also be learning about the restoration areas which are rich in wildlife.
Other geo walks will be in Burrington Combe to explore the fossilised seabeds from the Lower Carboniferous era with geologist Dr Peter Hardy.
Other geo walks include a new trail in Wells to learn about the building stone heritage of the City of Wells with Doug Robinson (Bristol University), and a fascinating walk up Penn Hill, the highest point in the Mendips, to discover the 350 million years of geological history there.
This year art workshops are included and a chance to have a go at stone carving, using tools provided you will be able to make a small sculpture for your home or garden from Bath stone.
Adel Avery, festival co-ordinator explains, “Whilst enjoying the breath taking views above ground on the Mendip Hills, the events will bring alive the fascinating stories of the rocks beneath our feet that have created busy industries in the past as well as shaping the dramatic and much loved landscapes we see today.”
“We aim to explore this geological diversity throughout our festival events. No prior knowledge of geology is required, and all will be revealed as we explore together, there really is something for everyone!”
Free unless otherwise stated. A donation of £3/adult, £1/child is welcome towards the Mendip Rocks! Project.
Quarry tours, cave visits, workshops and walks need to be booked, but other events do not require booking unless otherwise stated.
Mendip Rocks! 2018 Festival is organised by the Somerset Earth Science Centre in partnership with the Mendip Hills AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and The Mendip Society. With kind support from The Geological Society, Natural England, and John Wainwrights and Mendip Quarry Producers.
For general enquiries or a copy of programme, contact Adel Avery, 01749 840 156 (leave a message), or email [email protected].