Open University Geological Society (London Branch)




Day Trips

Longer Trips

S209 Students


Code of Conduct

Past Events


Please use the Registration Form to express your interest in these events and obtain more information.

Fieldwork is an essential part of geology. Whether it is someone looking at rocks for the first time or people engaged in speciality research, the field element is essential.
It is recommended to register with the event's organiser so that you can be notified of any change, and to avoid events being over-subscribed. We will always try to contact anyone who has registered an interest in a trip in advance. If you have registered and find that you will not be able to attend please inform the event organiser to allow someone else to take your place.
Details of events more than two months ahead are provisional. None of the event descriptions here constitute a brochure under the Package Travel Regulations (1992).
Note that day field trips generally carry a charge of £3.00 to cover costs. Where an event carries an admission fee, more will be charged, and the amount should be made clear in the event details.


Postponed till 2018

On the rocks at Bognor Regis

The foreshore exposures of Palaeogene geology at Bognor Regis include two geological SSSIs, which have yielded nationally important fossil material from the London Clay and Reading Formations. A good low tide is required, constraining a beach visit to late afternoon / early evening, so the day will commence with visits to two medieval churches to look at the history of the area and use of local building stone.

Contact: John Lonergan


Sun 16 July

Barton-on-Sea with Iain Fletcher

A trip for all the family

This trip is for everyone keen on finding fossils, because there are thousands of them to see, and then more, and yet more....... The location is the beach on the south coast at Barton, where the clay cliffs contain many different types of sea shells, 41 million years old. The shells are typical of present-day sub-tropical seas, so the climate here was warmer then.

Fossil collecting at Barton

This trip is suitable for families with children (as well as seasoned geologists) because the fossils - mainly sea shells - are so plentiful and easily collected. Apparently there are over 600 species to find, all about 40 million years old! There is also the chance of finding small fossil shark teeth that have been washed out of the clay and into the beach gravel.

At the start of the trip there will be a short introduction on what to look for, but then visitors can take as much time as they like in searching, because it is a public beach (but beware the incoming tide).

If you want to see the fossils in advance, visit the excellent website www.dmap.co.uk/fossils/index.htm, clicking on the row of photos for the Barton Beds.

Contact: Iain Fletcher


Thursday 20 July

Evening Trip: Building Stones with Diana Smith

Southwark area

Contact: Sue Vernon


Wednesday 20 September

Weekday Trip: Chicksgrove and Avebury with Diana Smith

Following on from the successful trip to Salisbury we plan to visit the quarry that supplies the stone to the Cathedral in the morning. Avebury will be visited on the way home.


The Chilmark Stone at Chicksgrove Quarry dates from the latter part of the Jurassic period so is around 145 million years old. The stone is from the upper part of the Portland Stone Formation and the lower beds of the Purbeck Limestone Group. Chicksgrove stone is an exceptional limestone known for its durability and strength, suitable for a range of uses, including walling stone, fine masonry stone, external paving and internal flooring. Thousands of tonnes of Chilmark Stone from Chicksgrove Quarry have been used in the restoration of Salisbury Cathedral.

Chicksgrove quarry

Contact: Sue Vernon


Sat 30 September

GEOCONSERVATION DAY at Riddlesdown Quarry, Croydon

Organised by the London Geodiversity Partnership in conjunction with the London Branch of the Open University Geological Society and City of London Corporation. Liam Gallagher will guide on the geology.

The large Riddlesdown Chalk Quarry south of Croydon in the North Downs is the best location to examine chalk in the London area. Rory Mortimore drew up conservation plans some years ago and the City of London Corporation, who own the site, have implemented them very constructively including building steps up the spoil heap to examine one of the faces in detail.

Riddlesdown Chalk Quarry

Inevitably vegetation tends to take over, despite employing sheep, and rock falls from the cliff face have made the steps unusable. In 2016 The London Geodiversity Partnership decided to make the quarry the focus of its geoconservation efforts and will do so again this year. We will be advised and assisted by the City of London rangers. As before there will be an explanation of the geology of the site before we get down to work. We are very happy that Liam Gallagher, an expert on the chalk who knows the quarry well, has agreed to come along to talk to us again. Those who took part last year found it very rewarding to see what we achieved.

The day will start promptly at 10 am and finish about 4. We will ask you to bring a hard hats, packed lunch, stout gloves and boots. City of London Corporation will supply tools and tea/coffee. If any of you are interested, do get in touch with Diana Clements and she will send full details nearer the time.

Contact: Di Clements


October - date TBC

Mullard Space Observatory (TBC)

Details to follow.

Contact: John Lonergan


Please use the Registration Form to express your interest in these events and obtain more information.