I had to go into Solihull Town Centre yesterday and, as I had my camera with me, I thought I would show you some of the interesting examples of geology that can be found in Solihull.
As soon as you enter the Touchwood Shopping Centre from the car park and look down you can spot examples of fossil ammonites and belemnites in the slabs of Jurassic limestone that make up the flooring. Here an ammonite.
Must admit to getting some rather strange looks when I took the above photo!
In the churchyard of nearby St Alpheges near to the church wall can be found a boulder which is a glacial erratic. Erratics can be of varying sizes and are pieces of broken rock carried along by glaciers during an Ice Age and finally left far from their original source. This particular erratic is believed to be from the North of England and could be quartzite.
Gravestones and memorials in churchyards are often made of interesting rocks and I think the "Winged Angel" memorial below is composed of red granite.
The War Memorial is made of Portland Limestone
and contains some moving stone sculptures
"The George" - a timbered pub
has layered sandstone below the timbers
If you examine the wall by the Post Office which is made of Hornton Stone - an iron rich limestone (the iron content gives it the lovely honey colouring) from Edge Hill, you can find lots of fossil shells such as Brachiopods
The "Family Outing" statue has a base of dolerite - an igneous rock formed by magma (molten rock) rising to or near the Earth's surface and subsquently cooling to form solid rock.
Some of the shops and buildings round the town centre contain examples of many different types of rock such as limestones, serpentinite,granite and sandstones and I will take some photos of these another time. After getting more strange looks as I peered at the post office stones I decided to call it a day!
The town centre also has some rather pretty flower displays at the moment and is looking very colourful.
Late yesterday morning I was in the vicinity of Earlswood Lakes and decided to pay a quick visit to Clowes Wood and New Fallings Coppice.
This a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Warwickshire Wildlife Trust Reserve which I have been meaning to visit for ages. Its a large area of ancient woodland covering around 110 acres and was the first reserve owned by the Trust.
It looks as though someone has started to build a den here!
Around fifty species of birds breed here although sadly I didn't see many today - just the usual woodland species such as roving parties of blue and great tits and several blackbirds. I saw what seemed like dozens of robins although I suspect it was one individual that was following me around!
Considering what a poor year it has been in our garden for Speckled Wood butterflies, I was pleased to see lots of this species spiralling around in their territorial displays. Apparently the site is the richest woodland in the north-west of the county for macro moths including the very local light orange underwing!
This is a reserve I would definitely like to go back to and explore more. There were some interesting fungi - sorry no pics the light was that poor the photos are all blurred. Brian likes woodland walks so hopefully I can persuade him to visit with me.
"Solihull Town Geological Trail" produced by The Warwickshire Geological Conservation Group - full of fascinating snippets about Solihull Town Centre geology and containing a Geology Trail which is easy to follow.
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