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Make Exercise an Exploration

Chase Lane Exploration by Ian Fenwick.

April is an ideal time to delve into your local geology as you take your daily exercise. Many of the fields are being prepared for spring-sown crops. Revealed with the bare soil are clues to the underlying geology, clues for all to see and to mull over.

There must be hundreds of walks in Warwickshire where a bit of geological fun can be had but one such is from Purlieu Lane in Kenilworth (SP 276724) to Chase Lane (SP 267731). You may be attracted by the sound of the rising skylarks, but look beneath your feet as well. There are endless pebbles of varying shapes and sizes. The photo shows just 10 of them collected in the course of 10 minutes. Many are rounded, but not all; some are brownish, others are white or even black… and there are other differences!

Now, what do they tell us? Bear in mind that the solid geology hereabouts is either Kenilworth Sandstone (a red sandstone but including bands of breccia) or Bromsgrove Sandstone (often a greyish sandstone). Among the specimens collected, none appear to be similar to the bedrock. So, from where, how and when were they derived. Answers on an (electronic) postcard please!

Some clues – colour, shape, surface texture, possible minerals (if you can make this out), hardness.