Onny Valley, Shropshire

Geologists’ Association Guide No 45 – Geology Teaching Trail

By Peter Toghill

This GA guide is stated to be a “Geology Teaching Trail”. Well, it may be, but when I ambled along the trail with the guide in my hand, I certainly wasn’t in a teaching situation. Rather, I was out for a nice walk and a guide to explain what I was seeing. And it did just that and the classic Silurian/Ordovician unconformity you can see was just that. Classic!

The Onny Valley, provides a classic and famous section through the Caradoc Series and, along it, are exposed all the characteristic rocks varieties containing their well-known shelly faunas. The trail guide is meant to appeal to students, undergraduates, as well as amateur geologists. However, as I suggest, the general public will find something to interest them too, as the trail follows a beautiful wooded valley, with plenty of wildlife.

This is one of the GA’s short guides, being only 21 pages long and therefore easy to put in a cagoule pocket. It contains coloured diagrams and pictures, and sets out the background to the Ordovician geology of the area and the geology of the type Caradoc area. It also contains pictures of the fossils found in the rocks, but don’t expect to find any when you walk the trail. That is not the point! It then covers eight localities at which to stop, along with additional localities nearby.

This is an excellent guide. You can get hold of a copy at the Geologists’ Association website. It would also be worth getting hold of The Geology of South Shropshire.

Onny Valley, Shropshire, Guide No 45 – Geology Teaching Trail, by Peter Toghill, The Geologists’ Association, London (1992), 21 pages (paperback), ISBN: 9780900717970

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