Saturday, November 17, 2012

Geo Conservation, Lye Hill Quarry, 17th November 2012

In a break from our usual activities, this Saturday we joined up with the Oxfordshire Geology Trust at Lye Hill Quarry, near Wheatley on the outskirts of Oxford.  Besides being a bus depot, this site is a geological SSSI and formerly an active limestone quarry.

Upon arrival, the group assembled outside the entrance gate waiting for it to be opened by the security guard while acquainting ourselves with members of the Oxford Geology Trust, led by Lesley Dunlop.  Once inside we donned hard-hats and high-vis jackets and proceeded to the quarry face.  A short presentation was given about the importance of the site and how, aeons ago, the area was once a tropical sea.  Thus explaining the presence of shell fragments and other types of fossils found here.

In order for further investigation of the exposed quarry faces to be possible, our task was to clear the vegetation beneath and upon the limestone.  Many saplings and brambles had taken root and required removal.  A relatively large turnout ensured that steady progress was made in this regard.

As ever, the refreshment break was eagerly anticipated, especially so due to the appearance of some rather good biscuits and most crucially, Eleanor's excellent lemon drizzle cake.

Working at a quarry and being surrounded by buses and caravans of various shapes, sizes and vintages made for one of our more unusual excursions, but it also made a refreshing change to be at a new site.  To make such good progress in clearing a large area, to the delight of the Oxford Geology Trust members, was also a nice bonus.
-Andrew

A short presentation about the site before work commenced

Lye Hill Quarry information sheet

the quarry face, overgrown with vegetation

work commences


the view from above

one of the piles of cleared vegetation

tea break







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