Welcome to the NEW EMGS website


Our next event

Lecture: The Ecton Copper Mines - a brief history and recent discoveries

Date: Saturday, 9th December 2023 – 6.00pm

Speaker: Dr Richard Shaw, Ecton Mines Education Trust and Peak District Mines Historical Society

Venue: Sir Clive Granger Building, University of Nottingham – Google Maps

View Event Flyer


Latest EMGS Circular
For updates on upcoming events and Society news see our latest EMGS Circular - November 2023


EMGS 60th Anniversary
EMGS celebrates its 60th birthday in 2024, and to mark our anniversary we are planning a one day conference in the Autumn. The event plan is at an early stage but we expect the day to include a diverse set of lectures on the changing role of geology in society and sustainable development, focussing on the East Midlands but in the wider context of global challenges and opportunities. We are also planning a poster session for early career researchers at local institutions to showcase their latest research.

The provisional date and venue for this event is Saturday 12 October 2024 at the University of Nottingham. Look out for more news on the EMGS Website, Circular and EMGS Facebook page as our plans mature.


Mercian Geologist
Our latest issue of Mercian Geologist (Volume 20, Part 4) will be distributed to members in October or early November 2023.
If any members have back issues of the Mercian which are now surplus to requirements, please could you contact our Secretary as we frequently get requests for back issues which we are now unable to supply. Any help would be appreciated.


Peak District Geowalk launched
On the 1st January 2023, the Peak District GeoWalk was launched by Albert Benghiat and Martin Whiteley. The website is at https://peakdistrictgeowalk.org/ and presents a long-distance circular GeoWalk divided into 14 individual sections, each of which can be downloaded and used in the field.
Look out for our review of the Geowalk in the latest issue of Mercian Geologist (Volume 20 Part 4, October 2023).


EMGS Facebook page
Facebook users are encouraged to visit and follow the EMGS Facebook page, which includes the latest information on a wide range of geological news and events from EMGS, other societies and organisations, based both locally and worldwide. Please ‘follow’ our page – more ‘followers’ helps to automatically broaden the range and currency of News and Events shown on our page.



Download link (MS Word files)
Membership Form:
Gift Aid Form:
Privacy Policy:
Gritstone edge, Stanage, Peak District

The East Midlands Geological Society was formed in 1964 by a group of professional and amateur enthusiasts, who recognized the need for such a group in this area of great geological interest. This mix of people from all backgrounds has remained a feature of the Society to this day and gives it a friendly relaxed atmosphere which appeals to newcomers. We are based in Nottingham, are affiliated to the Geologists’ Association, and enjoy cordial relations with other geological societies and with the British Geological Survey at Keyworth.


The Society is open to all and welcomes new members with:

  1. + Six lectures each year
  2. + Six field trips each year
  3. + The Mercian Geologist, our scientific journal
  4. + Regular news letters
  5. + Information on geological events

While the main activities of the Society are aimed at furthering interest in geology, the social side a Christmas buffet after the December meeting and also an annual dinner. The Society holds its indoor meetings at Nottingham University, to which we remain indebted for the use of their lecture theatre in the School of Geography. The East Midlands Geological Society is open to all, and we maintain interests and links with local geology and also with the wider geological sciences; new members are always welcome.

Gritstone edge, Stanage, Peak District

MERCIAN GEOLOGIST : Once a year the society publishes the Mercian Geologist, its own journal, compiled by an editor who is a member of the Council. Papers are invited and published on all geological topics and whilst items on East Midlands geology are especially welcome, there is no restriction on the scope of papers considered. In recent years the journal has been refurbished and remodelled to give a more modern look, and now has more news features, informal reports and comment. The editor is pleased to receive non-scientific input from members on the society's affairs.

Mercian Geologist - notes for contributors

Click the front covers below to view the contents of each publication.

LANDMARKS OF GEOLOGY : The Society publishes the "Landmarks of Geology" series from the Mercian Geologist in the Local Geology section, and invites you to use this valuable source of reference. The series will continue to grow with successive items in our journal. Any reference to these items should cite the Mercian Geologist and the issue that they originate from, and not this website.


Mercian Geologist journals are now available to download for all EMGS site visitors - Click here

The later issues go online a year after their initial publication. For the current issue, printed copies are available as above from the secretary.

The archives are now in preparation, and complete runs will only be available some time in the future.

An index for Volumes 1-12 (1964-1991) was issued as Volume 12, Number 4.



The fourth edition of the very popular guide, Sandstone Caves of Nottingham, is now available. Updated from the previous edition, it now contains 75 maps and photographs, all in full colour.


The third edition, now published by the Society, of Trevor Ford’s classic and definitive book on Blue John is now available. Fully revised, up-dated and expanded, it has 80 pages containing 152 photographs and maps all in colour.

To purchase, please send a cheque (£5.00 for Caves book; £7.00 for Blue John book), payable to EMGS, to:
EMGS Book Sales
11 Selby Road
Nottingham NG2 7BP

Both including UK postage.
Castle Rock sandstone, Nottingham

EMGS Lectures are held in the School of Geography Sir Clive Granger Building on the Nottingham University Park campus (for full directions click here).
If travelling by car, please park in the Main University Visitors Car Park (Google Maps) – parking is free on Saturday evenings. The Sir Clive Granger Building is on the left as you enter the car park. Please enter the building by the rear doors, accessible via a gentle ramp adjacent to the car park entrance.

The Society is indebted to the School of Geography at the University, who are sponsoring our lectures, for the use of these facilities.


Non Members are welcome

Date Speaker Subject (click for info)
14/10/2023 - 6.00 pm
Prof David Manning
11/11/2023 - 6.00 pm
Dr Benjamin Chandler
09/12/2023 - 6.00 pm
Dr Richard Shaw
Mineral solutions to global problems – how minerals can feed the world and remove atmospheric CO2
Saturday, 14th October 2023 - 6pm
David Manning, Professor of Soil Science, Newcastle University

The global population is projected to rise from 8 billion in 2022 to 10 billion in 2050; Africa’s population will double in that period, from 1.3 to 2.5 billion. The challenge of feeding so many people, while doing what we can to mitigate the effects of climate change, is enormous.

New approaches are required which go beyond the conventional, and minerals have a vital role to play. From the point of view of food security and crop production, crushed silicate rocks have considerable potential especially in tropical soils, where chemical fertilizers are lost through rainfall and demand a high price. Brazil has pioneered the use of crushed silicate rocks as sources of crop nutrition, with an established and growing internal market that has reduced dependency on imported fertilizers, especially for the small farms that produce food sold in markets for everyday consumption. There is abundant scope for transferring that knowledge to Africa.

The natural weathering of silicate rocks to provide crop nutrients also removes CO2 from the atmosphere. As the rock dissolves through contact with water, cations are released – and need to be counterbalanced with an anion, bicarbonate. This process transfers carbon from the biological to the geological cycle, and so it plays no further part in global warming.

The rocks used to achieve these goals are all around us. Looking at some examples, the scientific rationale behind their use in crop rotation and CO2 removal will be explained. All of us can take advantage of this approach through our own gardens or community gardens and ground near where we live.

Extent, style and timing of former glaciation in the Gaick, Scotland
Saturday, 11th November 2023 - 6pm
Dr Benjamin Chandler, Assistant Professor in Geomorphology, University of Nottingham

This talk will present the results of recent geomorphological and sedimentological investigations in the Gaick, Central Grampians, Scotland. The Gaick has proven to be an enigmatic and controversial glaciated landscape, which is dominated by a dissected upland plateau. Previous studies of the glacial landforms in this area have resulted in conflicting interpretations that are difficult to reconcile with sequences of events reconstructed elsewhere in the Central Scottish Highlands. Systematic geomorphological mapping and sedimentological analyses, combined with a glacial landsystems approach, have revealed evidence for multiple glaciations: (1) unzipping of local and regional ice masses during deglaciation of the last British Ice Age; (2) extensive pre-Younger Dryas plateau icefield glaciation; and (3) spatially restricted plateau icefield glaciation during the Younger Dryas. This new model of glacial events in the Gaick has important implications for understanding glacial events in the wider region.

The Ecton Copper Mines - brief history and recent discoveries
Saturday, 9th December 2023 - 6pm
Dr Richard Shaw, Director of Peak District Mines Historical Society

Ecton was initially worked in the Bronze Age about 3500 years ago, either for pigment or for both pigment and copper. No copper working then took place until the mid-1600’s though there are some Medieval lead workings on the hill. Dutchmen Level is the location of the first or second use of gunpowder for blasting in a British mine (the other location is Cromford Sough though they were close) in the 1660’s, though the mine was not a success at that time.

On land owned by the Chatsworth Estate the mine was leased out to ‘adventures’ in early 1700’s who followed the vein down from the top of the hill. In 1724 they had reached about river level and in 1724 started Deep Ecton Level to drain the workings. About 20m below the level the mine became very rich and the adventurers renewed their lease in 1731 before it expired in order to benefit from the rich deposit. The mine was taken ’in house’ by the estate in 1760 and worked to a depth of about 300m below river level before the ore values decreased. In House mining ceased in 1823 and through the rest of the 19th century the mine was worked by a number of companies, sometimes in conjunction with the adjacent Clayton Mine, most of which were share scams based on the mine’s past wealth. The mine was finally abandoned in 1889.

In the 1960’s Geoff Cox bought the mine and mineral rights and the mine was used for a variety of mining related educational purposes. Following his death the mine and mineral rights were vested in Ecton Mine Education Trust (EMET) and the educational related activities in the Ecton Hill Field Studies Association (EHFSA). EMET have responsibility for the mine, other property and their safety and continued maintenance while EHFSA use the mine for educational activities from older primary school level upwards in subjects relevant to the mining industry. In 2019 EMET was part of the EU funded UNEXMIN project developing autonomous underwater vehicles for the exploration of flooded abandoned mine workings and the mine was one of the test sites. This resulted in a series of submersible dives in all the flooded openings allowing a more thorough understanding of the workings and their geology to be developed. A follow-up project, UNEXUP, also used the site in 2022 to test a redesigned submersible and there have been several ROV dives in the mine. Despite these explorations much of the mine remains unexplored below water level.

The presentation will include a brief history of the mine, a summary of the results of the underwater explorations with a focus on improved geological understanding of the deposit and, technology permitting, a short video of the underwater conditions.

Gritstone edge, The Roaches, Peak District

Please note that all field trips require booking.
Hard hats are required on all trips.

Members should book field trip places with Tim Colman (Tel: 0115 9374743)
Non members should register with the secretary
Field trip
Click for info
30/04/23 (Sun)
Trip: Day visit to Ecton copper mine, near Warslow, Staffordshire
Leaders: Dr Richard Shaw and Tim Colman
17/05/23 (Wed)
Trip: Afternoon visit to Ashover in Derbyshire.
Leaders: Tim Colman
04/06/23 (Sun)
Trip: Day visit to the Claxby area of Lincolnshire.
Leaders: Paul Hildreth
27-28/06/2023 (Tue-Wed)
Trip: Two-day visit to the Clitheroe, Bowland and Crummack Dale areas of Lancashire.
Leaders: Peter del Strother
27/09/2023 (Wed)
Trip: Afternoon visit to the Permian ‘Magnesian Limestone’ at Clowne, north Derbyshire.
Leaders: Bob Browne (East Midlands Geological Society)
28/09/2023 (Thurs)
Trip: Afternoon visit to an active oil production site at Wressle in North Lincolnshire - Courtesy of Egdon Resources
Leaders: Mark Abbott and/or Martin Dunham (Egdon Resources)

Members are reminded that the Society has only public liability insurance and that personal accident insurance is a matter for individual members to arrange as they consider necessary. Up to date hard hats are obligatory for all field excursions involving quarries or cliff faces and strongly recommended for all trips. High visibility clothing is sometimes required in working quarries. High visibility tabards can be obtained from GA Enterprises, 126 Fleetside, W. Molesey, Surrey KT8 2NQ at £4.70 incl. pp. Members without suitable hard hats may be refused access to certain sites! Hard hats can be obtained from many Builders' Merchants, Wickes, B&Q Warehouse etc. for about £4.00.

Any non-members attending field excursions will have to pay a temporary membership fee of £2.00 and all participants are reminded that they must comply with any instructions from excursion leaders or, for example, quarry managers or their employees on Health & Safety issues.

Please use the Booking Form in the EMGS Circular or indicate your interest in any (or all) of the above trips to Tim Colman - the Field Meetings organiser at timcolman@tiscali.co.uk

Day visit to Ecton copper mine, near Warslow, Staffordshire
Sunday 30th April 2023
Dr Richard Shaw and Tim Colman.

Meeting time: 10am.
Meeting place: Ecton layby (map supplied to participants) 

What3Words: compiler.compiler.trespass

OS Grid SK097582.

Details: The trip will include a 2-hour underground visit to the Deep Ecton Level which shows spectacular folding of the Carboniferous hostrocks and large man made caverns. There will also be a roadside walk to the structurally complex Apes Tor quarries and, for the more energetic, a walk to the top of Ecton Hill to visit the historic Engine House (National Trust) and see the extensive views over the Namurian shales and sandstones of the Manifold Valley to the edge of the Derbyshire limestone plateau. We will finish with examination of Quaternary limestone breccias.

Afternoon visit to Ashover in Derbyshire.
Wednesday 17th May 2023
Tim Colman

Meeting time: 1pm

Meeting Place: Ashover Village Hall car park, Millken Lane.

What3Words: tech.rhino.stand

OS Grid: SK351632

Details: This small area encompasses Carboniferous limestones and volcanics, lead mining and Namurian mudstones and sandstones in a very picturesque setting. We will walk down to the River Amber valley and then up on footpaths past volcanic tuffs, fossiliferous limestones and Namurian shales and an old lead mine to the Millstone Grit outcrop of Cocking Tor with a panoramic view back over the valley. We will return by a woodland path, past abandoned quarries and lead mines, down to the Amber and see excellent exposures of the Ashover Tuff.

Day visit to the Claxby area of Lincolnshire.
Sunday 4th June 2023
Paul Hildreth

Meeting time: Morning – time to be advised.

Meeting place: To be advised.

Details: Investigation of the Cretaceous and Jurassic rock formations including the Claxby Iron Formation and the Red Chalk. Some sites are likely to be fossiliferous.

Two-day visit to the Clitheroe, Bowland and Crummack Dale areas of Lancashire.
Tuesday 27th - Wednesday 28th June 2023
Peter del Strother

Meeting time:  To be advised.

Meeting place:  To be advised.

Details: One day will visit the famous Carboniferous Salthill Waulsortian mudmounds (aka ‘reefs’) followed by examining the excellent ‘geology as shown by the topography’ in the Trough of Bowland. The second day will visit the Crummack Dale area for Carboniferous limestone topography, including limestone pavements, and two spectacular basal Carboniferous unconformities with Silurian turbidites.

Afternoon visit to the Permian ‘Magnesian Limestone’ at Clowne, north Derbyshire.
Wednesday 27th September 2023
Bob Browne (East Midlands Geological Society)

Meeting time: 3.00pm

Meeting place: To book a place on this walk please contact Tim Colman (the EMGS Field Meetings Organiser) by email at timcolman@tiscali.co.uk . Further details about the trip and meeting location will be provided by return.

Details: This afternoon field trip will demonstrate the Carboniferous Coal Measures and Permian ‘Magnesian Limestone’ (Cadeby Formation) exposed in the Clowne Greenway, a former railway cutting now restored as a footpath.

Learn about coal-forming swamps, fluctuating ice caps and climate change in the Carboniferous period over 300 million years ago, and how continental collision transformed this landscape into hot tropical deserts and seas many millions of years later during the Permian period. Discover why these rocks have been vital for economic development in the East Midlands and beyond during the last 200 years.

This Geowalk is suitable for wheelchair users as the cutting has easy access with a tarmac pathway and gentle gradients. Total duration approximately 2 hours.

Afternoon visit to an active oil production site at Wressle in North Lincolnshire - Courtesy of Egdon Resources
Thursday 28th September 2023
Mark Abbott and/or Martin Dunham (Egdon Resources)

Meeting time: 1.00pm

Meeting place: To book a place on this visit please contact Tim Colman (the EMGS Field Meetings Organiser) by email at timcolman@tiscali.co.uk . Further details about the trip and meeting location will be provided by return.

Details: This visit provides a rare opportunity to visit an active oilfield drilling site in the East Midlands. The afternoon will commence with a presentation giving an overview of the oilfield (regional geological setting, sub-surface structure and stratigraphy, history of exploration), details of the wells on site and future development plans, followed by a tour of the facilities. Total duration 2-3 hours.

Limestone reeks knolls, Upper Dovedale, Peak District