Earth Scientists visit the Malvern Hills

Photo: Homerton College Earth Scientists at the Malvern hills.

On a rather nippy May morning Homerton College Earth Scientists sallied forth to the Malvern Hills on the Herefordshire/Worcestershire borders. The purpose of the trip was to provide a stimulating revision experience as an alternative to the sometimes, relentless process of more formal examination preparation strategies.

The students had the opportunity to brush-up their igneous and sedimentary rock description and identification skills, to pull together many of the elements of the ‘Geological History of the British Isles’ section of the course and to engage in some discursive and deductive dialogue drawing upon their current understanding to explain the phenomena under their feet and within their view. They also found a fossil or two to bring home!

Cultural breadth was added by reference to the prologue of Langland’s ‘Piers Ploughman’ (Text A) in the original Middle English:

In a somer seson, whan softe was the sonne,

I shoop me into shroudes as I a sheep were,

In habite as an heremite unholy of werkes,

Wente wide in this world wondres to here.

Ac on a May morwenynge on Malverne hilles.

Me bifel a ferly, of Fairye me thought.

It just seemed fitting that on a May morning we were astride the Malvern ridge and looking out across the Severn Valley to the East and able to see the ‘felde fulle of folke’. The aspect was such that we could also see Houseman’s ‘Blue Remembered Hills’ in his land of lost content, beyond to ‘Wenlock Edge’ and then back to the East and ‘Bredon Hill’... inspired by the power of the land and the geology that shaped it.

Despite all this, everyone seemed to enjoy the day!