Programme of Events

Black Country Geological Society’s indoor meetings will be held during the winter months at the Abbey Room at the Dudley Archives, Tipton Road, Dudley, DY1 4SQ.

Unless otherwise stated, the Abbey Room and Zoom meetings will normally open at 7.30pm and lectures commence at 8.00pm.

Those wishing to attend field or geoconservation meetings please contact our Field Secretary (email address on the Contacts page).

Any non-members wishing to attend our virtual meetings should contact our Meetings Secretary for instructions (email address on the Contacts page).

Other contact details are also available on our Contact us page.

Updated 11 August 2023.

Members please check your email for any last minute changes.

Recordings of some of our virtual talks can be found on our YouTube channel.

Events in October–November 2023

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
25 September
26 September
27 September
28 September
29 September
30 September


1 October
2 October
3 October
4 October
5 October
6 October
7 October(1 event)

Geoconservation Day at Wren's Nest

7 October

Saturday 7 October (Geoconservation Day): Wren's Nest. Directed by the reserve wardens. Meet at 10.30 at the wardens' office at the end of Fossil View, off Wren's Hill Road (GR: SO 93699 92118). Park along Fossil View. The day will involve scrub clearance. Bring gloves, stout footwear and packed lunch. Wardens will provide tools, hard hats if necessary and a hot drink. Finish around 2.30.
Click here for a Google map of the location.

8 October
9 October
10 October
11 October
12 October
13 October
14 October
15 October
16 October(1 event)

Indoor Meeting - 'Erratic Tales'

16 October

Monday 16 October (Indoor Meeting): 'Erratic Tales'. Speaker: Ian Fairchild, University of Birmingham and Herefordshire & Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust (HWEHT).

I will start the lecture by giving some examples of erratic boulders in the UK, Iceland and the Alps which provide us with interest and instruction about geological processes.

Over the past two years, the Black Country Geological Society has partnered with the HWEHT, the Birmingham Open Spaces Forum and the Lapworth Museum of Geology to deliver the Heritage Lottery Funded project “Birmingham’s Glacial Erratics: Heritage of the Ice Age”. The legacy of this project includes much better documentation and visibility of these boulders in SW Birmingham and NE Worcestershire, the creation of eight walking and cycling trails, a programme of public engagement events, and a website which includes some marvellous essays on the historical study of the erratics by Julie Schroder. The nature of these stones, through their exotic nature and sometimes impressively large size makes them attractive to the public and a means to foster pride in the local area. There is scope for further projects in other geographic areas to build on this interest.

The Birmingham boulders are distinctive in having a provenance from North Wales and originating in one or more older ice ages, notably including the Anglian around 450,000 years ago. Most boulders are composed of siliceous volcanic ash representing the product of pyroclastic flows following explosive eruptions. The most recent glaciation (the Devensian) led to ice advance as far as Wolverhampton, but Birmingham was untouched. The Devensian erratic suite in the West Midlands, by contrast, is dominated by granites from SW Scotland and the Lake District. These deductions were made in the 19th century, prior to urbanization, during an intensive period of mapping the position of boulders stimulated by the Erratic Blocks Committee of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Essentially trains of boulders pointed back to the source. The map of Macintosh (1879) covered an enormous area and established that the white Criffel Granite and the pink Eskadale Granite as sources, whilst showing a distinctive train of volcanic boulders from the Arenig massif of North Wales which a model of the Welsh Ice shows was underneath the crest of the ice sheet. At the time the apparent crossing of flowlines on the map was a source of confusion, but it arises from the different ice ages, the Welsh Ice being relatively thinner and hence slower moving in the Devensian. Martin (1890) showed much more detail of the Midlands area whereas the posthumous map of Harmer (1928) covers the area to the north and east of the Midlands. It would not be possible to do such work today, since our urban areas are now swamped with boulders imported for decoration, including glacial erratics, but which have no heritage value.

The original enthusiasm for documenting boulders and mapping glacial flowlines barely survived WWI. The Birmingham geological memoir barely mentions them, yet they are the most widespread evidence for deep time processes visible to the public and remain of considerable scientific significance.

Click here for a Google map of the location.

17 October
18 October
19 October
20 October
21 October
22 October
23 October
24 October
25 October
26 October
27 October
28 October
29 October
30 October
31 October


1 November
2 November
3 November
4 November
5 November
6 November
7 November
8 November
9 November
10 November
11 November(1 event)

Geoconservation Day - Portway Hill, Rowley

11 November

Saturday 11 November (Geoconservation Day): Portway Hill, Rowley. In collaboration with the Friends of Rowley Hills and the B&BC Wildlife Trust.  Meet at St Brades Close just off Tower Road at 10.00 (Grid ref: SO 974 893, nearest PC: B69 1NH). Directions: from Birmingham New Road (A4123) turn left onto Tower Road if coming from Birmingham, right if coming from Wolverhampton. Just after Bury Hill park, turn left onto St Brades Close. Wear old clothes, waterproofs and stout footwear. Please bring gloves. Tools will be provided but do feel free to bring your own. Also bring a packed lunch. Hot drinks will be provided. Finish around 1.30.
Click here for a Google map of the location.

12 November
13 November
14 November
15 November
16 November
17 November
18 November
19 November
20 November(1 event)

Origins of Starfish and their relatives

20 November

Monday 20 November (Indoor Meeting): 'Origins of Starfish and their relatives'. Speaker: Aaron Hunter.
Asterozoans, including starfish and their close relatives, the brittle stars, are amongst the most instantly recognisable and iconic marine animals. They are a dominant and successful group of living echinoderms based on their diversity, abundance and global distribution. Despite their ecological success and a fossil record spanning more than 480 million years, the early evolution of asterozoans remains a mystery. New discoveries from France and Morocco have begun to resolve this mystery. We look at the earliest common ancestors of the 'Bat Star' somasteroids and their Cambrian descendants, including a new fossil from the exceptionally preserved Fezouata biota in Morocco, which is the earliest starfish-like animal so far recorded in the fossil record. We then follow these exceptional fossils through the Ordovician, as true starfish and brittle stars appear and show how they rapidly diversified during the biotic revolution we call the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event.
Click here for a Google map of the location.

21 November
22 November
23 November
24 November
25 November
26 November
27 November
28 November
29 November
30 November


1 December
2 December
3 December