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Archive for the ‘Geology’ Category

GM RIGS and geological features

The Fallowfield section of the Loop runs through a sandstone cutting. At this week’s meeting of the Friends, James Astbury of GM RIGS introduced himself and the purpose of RIGS (Regionally Important Geological and Geomorphological Sites), then gave a very interesting slide presentation to explain why the 500-metre long section of the Loop between Ladybarn Lane and Slade Lane is special.  This section shows a variety of different types of rocks, including Collyhurst sandstone (laid down about 290 million years ago) and the younger Chester formation, which exhibits interesting fault lines. The geology of the site was assessed by Standish and Draper in the 1970s.
Criteria for a site to be declared RIGS include rarity, good examples of something more common, being of educational value and of historical significance. This site has been put forward for a RIGS designation by this group recently, and they are awaiting the result of the assessment. When registered, the site condition will be checked about every two months. James would like to agree with the Friends and with Sustrans a maintenance strategy for vegetation for short sections (each about five metres wide) in order to allow the geological features to be displayed whilst maintaining the existing ecology of the site. GM RIGS believe the site offers a good opportunity for education given its proximity to the universities and local schools. There have been brief discussions at meetings between GM RIGS and the Friends about the possibility of information signboards or QR code signs either at the main site or at nearby entrances to the Loop.

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