Leeds Geological Association

LGA Activities

An outline of the Association's activities


The Leeds Geological Association offers its members many opportunities to extend and deepen their geological knowledge and enjoyment. In the colder months there is a monthly Lecture Programme; and in the summer a series of Field Visits. From time to time, Other Events and Activities take place.

Lecture Programme

The Association provides a monthly Lecture Programme in the winter, and welcomes visitors who wish to come along to get a taste of what is on offer. A monthly Newsletter goes out to members, reminding them of the date, title and speaker for the next Lecture, and also providing the Lecture Abstract, to whet the geological appetites.

Lectures are held at 7.15 p.m., usually on the second or third Thursday in the month from October to May, and normally take place at a venue on the University of Leeds campus, the details of which will appear on the current Lecture Programme and Lecture Abstract.

Lectures are given by experts in their field and Lecture Topics cover all aspects of geology, but lecturers are equally skilled in presenting their topics with the help of slides, diagrams, maps, etc to ensure the interest and understanding of the beginners, academics and working geologists who make up our audiences. Occasionally, too, our speakers bring specimens for us to examine: usually pieces of rock, of course, but one evening we found ourselves handing round a pickled lung-fish!

The session usually ends with lively questions and answers, before members round off the evening with refreshments and informal discussion.

Current Lecture Programme

Past Lecture Programmes

Field Visits

Field Visits were all-important to the founding members of the LGA. In the field they could examine rock exposures and investigate them in the light of what they had learned from their lectures. Good public transport, and the many active quarries and mines nearby, made it easier then to find local examples of local geology. But Field Visits must have required considerable stamina a century ago, when a day's observation, recording and discussion in the field were followed by the Secretary's resume of the day's findings, then a hearty meal at some hostelry, then a brisk walk to catch the last train ... and so to bed!

Today's Field Visits are both like and unlike these beginnings.

Today, travelling by car or coach, we may visit sites much further from home, expertly guided by a leader well-versed in recent commercial or academic surveys of the area of our interest ... though there is still plenty of investigation and discussion! We usually include a residential weekend visit in the summer programme, too, when, like our predecessors, we can combine a more detailed exploration with a convivial get-together.

A Calendar of Field Visits is circulated each March and members receive a detailed programme in April.

Visitors are welcome to join a Field Visit as a temporary member if numbers permit.

Other Events & Activities

The long history of the LGA testifies both to the fruitful collaboration between academics and amateurs, and to the deep-rooted fascination of geology for the layman. This tradition continues in modern forms: the Association has been involved with Leeds City Council in looking for ways to narrate and illustrate the story of the rocks beneath our feet (or bicycle tyres!) for our fellow Leodensians.

So far we have addressed this in two ways :

  • At the suggestion of LGA members, and in co-operation with Leeds City Council, Chevin Forest Park and English Heritage, an interpretative panel of Otley Chevin was produced by Fred Dunning. This panel, combining panoramic photos, explanatory illustrations and diagrams, was given an official opening on a very rainy evening in April 1998.

The Opening of the Otley Chevin Panel

The opening by Prof Francis of the interpretative panel on Otley Chevin
(Photo by Pauline Sweet)

  • A booklet, 'Roundhay Park - A Walk Back in Time' (24 pages, full colour) which describes the marked geology trail in Roundhay Park has been produced. It is a combined effort between LGA members, who provided the idea and the content, and Friends of Roundhay Park, who provided the help on the ground. It can be found in various local outlets or purchased by post. Contact Bill Fraser on 0113 2608764 or email [email protected] for further details.