#Welsh boys at #Erebus #Antarctica

I am away from Wales for a few weeks guiding on a trip in Antarctica. Here I was a few days ago at Cape Royds on Ross Island under the towering bulk of Mount Erebus. Mount Erebus is one of only 3 volcanoes in the world that has a permanent lava lake. It is is also the world’s southern most historically active volcano. Cape Royds is also the site of Shackleton’s historic hut which was used for the Nimrod Expedition where he got within 95 miles of the South Pole.

—-
Sent via Satellite Phone – please keep replies short – no attachments

Advertisements

Fforest Fawr part 5

WALJC-79

Devonian

The Caledonian Orogeny the name given to the mountain building event that produced the Caledonian Mountains lasted on into the Mid Devonian. The Caledonian Mountains were a huge chain of mountains that were probably Himalayan in height and  stretched from what is now Svalbard down the coasts of East Greenland and Western Norway, through the British Isles on to the Appalachians in North America. Whenever a great chain of mountains is thrust up, it will be eroded down and huge thicknesses of sediment can be deposited in sedimentary basins adjacent to the mountain ranges. The Devonian scene in the Fforest Fawr Geopark would have been something like modern day Pakistan, with a huge mountain chain to the north and an arid plain to the south over which rivers periodically flooded depositing sediment.

Devonian rocks cover more of the Geopark than rocks of any other age, and all the high peaks in the Geopark, the Black Mountain, Fforest Fawr, and the Brecon Beacons (Fig. 2) are made from Devonian Old Red Sandstone. Many of the rocks are red in colour as the name would suggest.  This is due to haematite that formed in these arid conditions. In other places the rocks are green and this is due to a different oxidation state of the iron that may be due to water percolating through the sandstone t a later date. In many places in the Geopark, such as on the slopes of Bannau Sir Gaer on the Black Mountain sedimentary structures such as cross bedding are clearly visible. At a few rare sites such as Heol Senni Quarry fossil fish have also been found. The Devonian is also known for the remains of the planets first forest and in certain places such as near the summit of the Black Mountain, black organic material can be found within the sandstone (Fig 3).

Rocks of the lower Devonian are preserved as the St Maughans, Brownstones and Senni formations. These are all sandstones and mudstone. The middle Devonian however is missing, presumably there was a period of erosion after they were deposited removing them before the Upper Devonian Plateau Beds and Grey Grits were lain down. The Plateau Beds are so called because they cap many of the highest peaks in the Geopark. Figure 4 shows the Plateau Beds lying unconformably on the Brownstones.

The best places to see Devonian rocks in the Geopark are the walks that climb the high mountain peaks. Pen-y-Fan at 886 metres is the highest mountain in southern Britain and the views from the top are magnificent. However it is also a very popular mountain and at certain times of the year can be quiet busy. A wilder and more isolated experience can be had in the west on the peaks of the Black Mountain.

Education

In addition to offering guided Day Tours, Guided Hikes and Holidays to visitors to Wales, I can come to your organisation and give you a talk. My available talks are listed below. I have previously given talk to several Geological Societies, Rotary Clubs, Women’s Institutes and Photography clubs.

I can also take your U3A group of geological day tours, organise field trips for schools and I  plan to start teaching a geology Adult Education course.

PUBLIC SPEAKING

LIST OF AVAILABLE TALK TITLES:

1. Working as an expedition guide in the polar regions
2. Polar Climate Crisis
3. How to take better photographs
4. Polar Bears
5. Glaciation in the polar regions
6. Ice in the Oceans: icebergs and sea ice
7. Arctic Sovereignty and Resources
8. The Geology of the Antarctic Peninsula
9. The Geology of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia
10. The Geology of East Greenland
11. The Geology of Jan Mayen and Svalbard
12. The Geology of Franz Josef Land, Russia
13. The Geology of Tristan da Cunha
14. The Geology of St Helena
15 The Geology of Ascension Island
16. Working as a guide to the Burgess Shale fossil quarries

A SUMMARY OF MY CLIMATE CHANGE TALK

U3A

During 2013 and 2014, I led Hay-on-Wye’s U3A geology group on 8 day tours and 1 two day tour.

Hay U3A in Pembrokeshire

2013

1. Bwa Maen, Henrhyd waterfall and Cwm Grelech geoheritgae trail
2. Stanner Rocks and the Strinds Quarry
3. Llyn-y-Fan Fach, Mydffai and Llandovery
4. Glamorgan coast and dinosaur footprints
5. Cribarth and Wenwyllt

2014

1. Elan Valley and the Mid Wales Ore Field
2. Woolhope Dome
3 & 4 Two day Pembrokeshire trip.
5. Clydach Gorge and the Blaenavon World Heritage Site

If you are a U3A group I could do the same for you. Please get in touch.

 PROGRAMMES FOR SCHOOLS

If you are a school and want a field course that gets your pupils into the great outdoors but covers many topics that are on the National Curriculum then these programmes could be for you.

BACKGROUND 

Scenery Explained Wales has teamed up with outdoor education and corporate training company ‘Call of the Wild’ to provide this programme. Call of the Wild provides the accommodation for your school group, the food and mini bus transportation, while we provide the guiding and interpretation of the Geopark.

KEYSTAGE 3 AND 4 PROGRAMMES:

SINGLE DAY PROGRAMMES

Send your students on a Scenery Explained Day Tour or Guided Hike. The interpretation on these walks and tours covers the following  Keystage 3 and 4 topics:

Science: The Environment, Earth and Universe

Physical Geography: Physical processes and landscapes

Human Geography: Urban change, migration, sustainable development Fieldwork: Out of class learning Geographical communication: Map reading skills History: Chronological understanding Change and continuity

British History: Industrialization

THREE DAY PROGRAMME

Day 1: A guided tour or hike, this can be a half day or full day walk depending on arrival time. Depending on the chosen trail the interpretation can cover the areas of the National curriculum mentioned above.

Evening: An informative talk by Polar Expedition Guide James Cresswell, on wildlife and Climate Change in the Polar Regions. The talk is very visual with dramatic photographs and video footage.The concepts raised in the talk cover the following area of the national curriculum:

Science: The Environment, Earth and Universe: Human Activity – Climate Change

Geography: Interactions between people and the environment.

Day 2:

Morning: A visit to the incredible waterfalls of the Geopark, here physical geography river processes can be discussed.

Afternoon: An expedition into our local cave network with a ‘Call of the Wild’ caving guide and myself. This is a physical activity as well as an opportunity to learn about the physical processes that create caves.

Evening: If conditions are right an outdoor star gazing session, otherwise an indoor presentation on the stars and solar system. The Brecon Beacons an International Dark Skies Reserve.

The talk covers the following area of the national curriculum:

Science: The Environment, Earth and Universe: Astronomy and Space

Day 3:

Morning:  A classroom re-cap session with James and school teachers.

Afternoon: Depart

 

 A LEVEL PROGRAMMES

In addition to our GCSE programme we can use our unique location within the Brecon Beacons National Park and Fforest Fawr Geopark to create programmes for Geography and Geology A Level pupils. These programmes can be put together specially for the individual school, but the topics that we are best suited to cover could be:

3.1 Geography:

River processes and management – using the nearby river Mellte and its spectacular waterfalls

http://www.breconbeacons.org/visit-us/things-to-do-and-see/special-places-to-visit/the-waterfalls-area

Glacial Landforms: The main peaks of the Brecon Beacons and the ridge of the Black Mountain have been cut out by glaciers as have the Swansea and Neath valleys. These are great places to study the effects of deglaciation on the landscape.

3.2 Geology:  

Geological mapping, The Cribarth mountain behind the ‘Call of the Wild’ accommodation has been used by many years by Cardiff University as a mapping location.

Economic geology: coal and iron ore

The geological evolution of Britain. The Geopark contains a 200 million year sequence of sedimentary rocks stretching from the mid Ordovician to the end of the Carboniferous.

UNIVERSITIES

Cardiff University has been using Cribarth Mountain to teach Geological mapping for many years. Scenery Explained Wales and  ‘Call of the Wild’ can provide everything to base your field classes in the Fforest Fawr Geopark.

Fforest Fawr part 4

beds

In Llandovery, Wenlock and Ludlow times the Geopark was still under water with sediments being deposited in the Iapetus Ocean. In these oceans lived the marine creatures such as brachiopods which allowed Murchinson to define the period and its stages. However from the mid Silurian onwards the Iapetus was closing. England and Wales part of the ancient micro-continent of Avalonia were colliding with Scotland which was part of the ancient continent of Laurentia. This started to form a huge chain of mountains, the Caledonian Mountains, and uplifted the rocks of the Geopark area out of the sea. By the latest Silurian, the Pridoli, all the sedimentation taking place f England and Wales was terrestrial; this is why a site in the Czech Republic defines this age because it was still marine and consequently preserves marine fossils. The rocks deposited in the Geopark of Pridoli age are the Raglan Mudstones. They are red in colour and are part of the Old Red Sandstone that continued to be deposited throughout the Devonian, the period that succeeds the Silurian.

The global stratotypes of the Telychian and Aeronian are on private land but a great and accessible place within the Geopark to look at Silurian rocks is the Sawdde Gorge. This site is an SSSI due to the geology. Here the transition from the marine conditions in the Ludlow to the terrestrial conditions in the Pridoli can be seen. The Ludlow sediments from the quarry here have also yielded some of the earliest known fossils of a primitive fish.

DAY TOURS

DAY TRIPS

We offer a series of day tours in the Brecon Beacons National Park, the Fforest Fawr Geopark, the Brecon Beacons International Dark Skies Reserve, the Blaenavon World Heritage Site, the Elan Valley, the Glamorgan Heritage Coast and Herefordshire.

These tours either start from your accommodation in the Brecon Beacons N.P. area, or Abergavenny train station, Brecon bus interchange or Hay-on-Wye bus stop

Please click on each box  below for full details and prices.

Fforest Fawr part 3

Llandovery from castle mound

Silurian

The rocks of Fforest Fawr Geopark are all sedimentary and pile on top of each other like a layer cake. Overlying the Ordovician rocks are rocks of the Silurian Period. These rocks also occur in the North west portion of the Geopark (see fig 1) stretching in a band to the east of the Ordovician rocks from town of Llandovery to near Llandeilo, with a smaller area occurring just to the north of Brecon. As previously discussed the Silurian Period was named by Murchison after the Silures tribe who would have inhabited the Fforest Fawr Geopark during Roman times. Today the Silurian is divided up into 4 epochs: the Llandovery, the Wenlock, the Ludlow and the Pridoli.  These names are internationally recognised as the official names for rocks of these time periods all around the world. The Llandovery is named after the Fforest Fawr Geopark town, the Ludlow and Wenlock are named after places in the nearby English county of Shropshire, and the Pridoli after a site in the Czech Republic. Each epoch is further subdivided into stages and two of the three Llandovery stages the Aeronian and Telychian stages have their global stratotypes within a few miles of  the Geopark boundary. The Aeronian Age lasted from 440.8 million to 438.5 million years ago and is named after Cemcoed-Aeron Farm. The  Telychian lasted from 438.5 million to 433.4 million years ago and is named after the Pen-lan-Telych Farm. Both farms are in the area surrounding Llandovery.

BRECON BEACONS HOLIDAYS

BRECON BEACONS HOLIDAYS

and stretching out further afield if desired

ONE DAY AND ONE NIGHT HOLIDAY

The summit of Pen-y-Fan

Waterfall Country

Welsh Mountain ponies

£120 EACH

Based on 2 people sharing a room,

2 – 6 people

2015 Dates: June 27th – August 25th

Possible start nights: Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays only

 INCLUDED

  • Full board accommodation at Tara B&B (4 Star)
  • 5 Star Cordon Bleu dinner
  • Your choice of any Day Tour or Hike, guided by mountain leader, and M.Sc. Geo-scientist.  Includes picnic lunches.
  • Use of swimming pool

NOT INCLUDED

*Transportation

*Due to insurance regulations transportation cannot be part of these tours. However I am insured to give you a lift from site to site in exchange for the standard mileage costs, this will be just a few pounds each. My vehicle can take up to 4 passengers alternatively I am happy to travel with you in your vehicle.

TWO DAY AND TWO NIGHT HOLIDAY

Tara B&B in the Brecon Beacons International Dark Skies Reserve

Red Kite

Cerreg Cennan Castle

£240 EACH

Based on 2 people sharing a room,

2 – 6 people

2015 Dates: June 27th – August 25th

Possible start nights: Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays only

INCLUDED

  • Full board accommodation at Tara B&B (4 Star)
  • 5 Star Cordon Bleu dinner
  • Your choice of any Day Tour or Hike, guided by mountain leader, and M.Sc. Geo-scientist.  Includes picnic lunches.
  • Use of swimming pool

NOT INCLUDED

*Transportation

*Due to insurance regulations transportation cannot be part of these tours. However I am insured to give you a lift from site to site in exchange for the standard mileage costs, this will be just a few pounds each. My vehicle can take up to 4 passengers alternatively I am happy to travel with you in your vehicle.

THREE DAY AND THREE NIGHT HOLIDAY

Blaenavon Ironworks – World Heritage Site

Guided hike on the Black Mountain

Rhossilli Beach, Gower

£360 EACH

Based on 2 people sharing a room,

2 – 6 people

2015 Dates: June 27th – August 25th

Possible start nights: Fridays, Saturdays only

INCLUDED

  • Full board accommodation at Tara B&B (4 Star)
  • 5 Star Cordon Bleu dinner
  • Your choice of any Day Tour or Hike, guided by mountain leader, and M.Sc. Geo-scientist.  Includes picnic lunches.
  • Use of swimming pool

NOT INCLUDED

*Transportation

*Due to insurance regulations transportation cannot be part of these tours. However I am insured to give you a lift from site to site in exchange for the standard mileage costs, this will be just a few pounds each. My vehicle can take up to 4 passengers alternatively I am happy to travel with you in your vehicle.

FOUR DAY AND FOUR NIGHT HOLIDAY

Llangorse Lake

The Regimental Museum of the Royal Welsh, Brecon

A Scenery Explained hike

£480 EACH

Based on 2 people sharing a room,

2 – 6 people

2015 Dates: June 27th – August 25th

Possible start night: Fridays only

INCLUDED

  • Full board accommodation at Tara B&B (4 Star)
  • 5 Star Cordon Bleu dinner
  • Your choice of any Day Tour or Hike, guided by mountain leader, and M.Sc. Geo-scientist.  Includes picnic lunches.
  • Use of swimming pool

NOT INCLUDED

*Transportation

*Due to insurance regulations transportation cannot be part of these tours. However I am insured to give you a lift from site to site in exchange for the standard mileage costs, this will be just a few pounds each. My vehicle can take up to 4 passengers alternatively I am happy to travel with you in your vehicle.

Fforest Fawr part 2

pen y fan

The Cambrian Period was named after the Latin name for Wales, Cambria, by Adam Sedgwick while the Silurian was named by Roderick Murchison in the 1830’s after the Silures tribe who inhabited southern Wales in the Roman times. Originally there was no Ordovician Period, however the Cambrian and Silurian of Sedgwick and Murchinson was found to overlap in places, causing disagreement between the two men. In 1879 Charles Lapworth resolved the dispute by defining the Ordovician. He recognized that the fossil fauna in the disputed layers was different to either the Cambrian or Silurian. Lapworth divided up his Ordovician, which is named after the Ordovices tribe who lived in North Wales and Mid Wales during Roman times, into the following series: Tremadog, Arenig, Llanvirn, Caradog and Ashgill, all named after places in Wales or near the border, where rocks of these ages occur. The Llanvirn is subdivided into the Llandeilian and Abereiddian, with the Llandeilian named after the Fforest Fawr Geopark town, Llandeilo and Abereiddian named after the Pembrokeshire village of Abereiddi. In the UK these divisions  continue to be popularly used, but in some other parts of the world other stages have been used. This led to the standardisation of the Ordovician in 2008 by the International Stratigraphic Committee. The Tremadoc, named after Tremadoc in North Wales, was internationally accepted as the earliest stage of the Ordovician but the Llandeilian is not now accepted as an international time period. However Llandeilo does still possess another claim to geological fame which is that  the very first trilobite described by science was discovered just outside the town. The fossil was collected in 1698 by Reverend Edward Lhwyd and he described as “some kind of flat fish”.

A good place to see Ordovician rocks in the Geopark is the Garn Goch hill fort near the village of Bethlehem. Garn Goch the largest  prehistoric hill fort in South Wales. The rocks here are coarse sandstones lain down in a shallow sea 405 million years ago, and which have since been tightly folded. The Geopark has published a Geotrail that can give you a guided walk around the geology and archaeology.

BEST OF BEACONS DAY TRIPS

BEST OF BEACONS DAY TRIPS

These popular tours give you a little bit of everything. There is ‘Scenery Explained’, there is ‘Heritage’ and there is ‘Wildlife & Nature’ all rolled into one tour. If you have limited time or a general interest, then these are the tours for you. Alternatively you could join one of our more specialised tours or guidedhikes.

TOUR DATES

2015 Dates: June 27th – August 25th

Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays only

Start point: Your accommodation in the Brecon Beacons N.P. area, or Abergavenny train station, or Brecon bus interchange or Hay-on-Wye bus stop

PRICES

£35 per person (Group size 4 -7)

Minimum spend £140

THE BEST OF THE BEACONS

If you only have 1 day in the National Park and want to see as big a variety of the best things as possible then this is your tour.

Best of the Beacons route map

Llanthony Priory, Best of Beacons Tour, Scenery Explained Wales

Llanthony Priory

Red Kite, Best of Beacons Tour, Scenery Explained Wales

A red kite

Carreg Cennen Castle, Best of Beacons Tour, Scenery Explained Wales

Carreg Cennen Castle

Gospel Pass – Landscape. This is the highest road in the National Park. From here there are stunning views of the Wye Valley. There is a prehistoric stone circle, a story of glaciation, the rocks that make of the Black Mountains and a former lead workings.

Llanthony Priory – Heritage. This magnificent ruin dates back to 1100  and is situated in glacial valley. We learn not only about the history of the priory but about the processes that formed its valley.

Mountain Centre – Landscape. Here we get an excellent view of the peaks of the Brecon Beacons. We can see the way ice carved them out. We can visit the centre as well which contains a wealth of information on all aspects of the National Park.

Maen Llia – a Bronze Age standing stone, set in the wild of Fforest Fawr.

Henrhyd Waterfall – Landscape. This is the highest waterfall in South Wales. When early geologists first described it fossil tree trunks were found at its base. This fall has  also featured in the Batman films

Llandeussant Red Kite Feeding Station – Wildlife & Nature. This is in the remote western part of the National Park with great views of the Black Mountain.We arrive for feeding time at 3 pm and may see 50+ birds. Red Kites are iconic birds in Mid Wales and the county emblem of Powys, even though this station is just over the border in Carmarthenshire.

Carreg Cennen Castle – Heritage and Landscape. this is Wales’ most dramatically situated castle. We go inside the castle and learn how it was built by the Welsh rather than the English, discover the secret cave and learn how it rests on very unusual geology.

BEST OF THE BEACONS EAST

This tour takes in the best locations in the eastern part of the Brecon Beacons National Park and if you have time it is best done doing the ‘Best of the Beacons West’ the next day.

Best of Beacons East Tour route map, Scenery Explained Wales

Best of the Beacons East route map

Hay Castle, Best of Beacons Tour, Scenery Explained Wales

Hay-on-Wye Castle

Blaenavon Ironworks, Best of Beacons East Tour, Scenery Explained Wales

Blaenavon Ironworks

Hay-on-Wye – Heritage. The world famous second hand book shop capital of the world. You could of course spend a whole day here! We do a half an hour drop in to give you a sense of the town.

Gospel Pass – Landscape. This is the highest road in the National Park. There are spectacular views and glacial features.

Llanthony Priory – Heritage. Dates back to 1100 is situated in glacial valley.

Blaenavon Ironworks – Heritage. This is part of the Blaenavon World Heritage Site, and my great great grandfather used to be the general manager of this ironworks that literally revolutionised the world! For a more in depth visit to this site join our heritage tour there.

Picnic lunch, Llangynidr Mountain – Landscape. This is one of the best views in the National Park and there are also unique geological features called dolines.

Llangorse Lake – Wildlife & Nature / Heritage. This lake has so many stories. It is the largest natural lake in South Wales and was formed in the last Ice Age, it was the site of a Crannog a Palace belonging to the King of Brchieniog and it is a great place to see wildlife.

Regimental Museum of the Royal Welsh – Heritage. The regiment who defended Rorkes Drift from the Zulus, where more Victoria Crosses, were given out than in any other battle, was based in Brecon. This fabulous mesuem is one of Brecon’s best treasures.

Mountain Centre – Landscape. This is the place to get a classic view of the highest peaks of the Brecon Beacons and to learn more about the National Park.

BEST OF THE BEACONS WEST

Also covering this area is our Fforest Fawr Geopark ‘Landscape Explained’ tour. Plese click here for that tour.

Best of Beacons West Tour route map, Scenery Explained Wales

Best of Beacons West Route Map

Llyn-y-Fan Fach, Best of Beacons West Tour, Scnery Explained Wales

The site for your picnic lunch: Llyn-y-Fan Fach.

Mountain Centre – Landscape. This is the place to get a classic view of the highest peaks of the Brecon Beacons and to learn more about the National Park. If you did the East tour the day before this location will be exchanged for Porth Ogrof the largest cave opening in Wales.

Maen Lia – Heritage. A Bronze Age standing stone.

Henrhyd Waterfall – Landscape. This is the highest waterfall in South Wales and also featured in the Batman films

Walk to Llyn-y- Fan Fach (3 miles return) – Landscape and Heritage – This really is the heart of the western part of the park. This fabulously remote lake features the legend of ‘The Lady of the Lake’. There are also spectacular moraines and rock outcrops. For a longer walk in this area please see our guided hike to the Black Mountain.

Llanddeusant Red Kite Feeding Station – Wildlife & Nature. We arrive for feeding time at 3 pm and may see 50+ birds.

Carreg Cennen Castle – Heritage and Landscape. This is Wales’ most dramatically situated castle.

INCLUDED IN THESE TOURS

Guiding and interpretation from Mountain Leader and MSc. geo-scientist.

A luxury homemade picnic lunch from Beeton For Time catering.

NOT INCLUDED IN THESE TOURS

*Transportation

*Due to insurance regulations transportation cannot be part of these tours. However I am insured to give you a lift from site to site in exchange for the standard mileage costs, this will be just a few pounds each. My vehicle can take up to 4 passengers alternatively I am happy to travel with you in your vehicle.

Gave Antarctic talk to Gwent Mountaineering Club

Last Wednesday I gave a talk about the Antarctic and Arctic to the Gwent Mountaineering Club. Thank you for having me guys, I am pleased you enjoyed the talk!

James Cresswell, M.Sc

Director, GeoWorld Travel Ltd
t: + 44 (0)1497 847988

m: +44 (0)771 2249057

e: james

w: www.sceneryexplainedwales.co.uk

a: Tara, Velindre, Brecon, LD3 0TB, Wales, UK

Accredited Ambassador to the Brecon Beacons National Park,

International Dark Skies Reserve, and Fforest Fawr Geopark.

Member of SWOAPG.

GeoWorld Travel Ltd, Registered in England and Wales No. 08308491

Facebook Twitter