The Leeds Geological Association was formed in 1874 following a series of extra-mural lectures on Natural Sciences given by Cambridge University. The aim of the Association was to further the knowledge and experiences of geological matters by, wherever possible, study of the rocks and landscape of the local area. This very much remains the same today, although as knowledge of the subject has expanded, topics now range from the earth’s core to planetary bodies to climate change.
Members come from all walks of life with varying levels of knowledge – beginners, interested amateurs and academics along with retired and working professional geologists. This rich diversity is a strength of our Association and provides an opportunity for all those involved to increase their knowledge and exchange views and ideas with other like-minded people.The Association has close links with the academic and student members of Leeds University’s School of Earth and Environment who, every year, talk on their latest work.
The Association is a registered education charity (No 1016696) and offers a programme of monthly lectures during October to May and field visits during the spring and summer. Lectures, which take place on Thursday evenings, normally at Leeds University, are given by experts in their field, cover all aspects of geology and always end with opportunities for questions from the audience and light refreshments.
Field visits mostly take place at weekends and visit sites that are mostly within two hours travel from Leeds. There are also mid-week, half-day or evening visits to more local sites. In most years, a residential field visit is organised over a long weekend, giving members the opportunity to visit more distant locations. Occasionally the Association is involved in joint meetings with other, similar organisations, to which members have the right to attend.
A regular Newsletter is produced which provides details of forthcoming LGA events as well as others in the region. Since 2002 members have received a printed Field Visit Reports booklet that contains reports, written by attendees, of all the field visits that have taken place that year. Past copies of this booklet can be viewed here.
Between 1883 and 1987 the Association produced various publications. Initially these contained reports of lectures and field visits but latterly contained original papers by both members and non-members. These are archived in the Reference Section of Leeds City Library where they can be accessed for viewing. A set is also held in the Special Collections section of Leeds University, Brotherton Library. A catalogue of their contents can be viewed here.
The Association, as well as individual members, have collaborated with other local groups, societies and public bodies in several geological conservation and education projects. This has resulted in the identification, preservation, and interpretation of several geological sites in the area.An interpretative panel, sited at Surprise View on Otley Chevin, of Otley Chevin and the Lower Wharfe Valley, geological trails and leaflets for Otley Chevin, Roundhay Park and Boston Spa are examples of some of this work. These were produced in collaboration with Leeds City Council, Boston Spa Parish Council, West Yorkshire Geology Trust and Friends of Roundhay Park.
Each year the Association receives requests to provide information such as details of local geology, a talk, geological specimens, or attendance at local events. These might come from local study groups, schools, or members of the public and the Association always endeavours to respond in a suitable manner.
Non-members are welcome to join our events. There is no charge for attending a lecture but for field visits visitors must become Temporary Members for the duration of the visit: this is to ensure that they have cover under our Public Liability Insurance Policy.