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Deep in the Forest, something stirs

The plan of the Geomap

The Forest of Dean has been awarded a grant to create a unique geomap sculpture, reports Dwain Eldred 

Geoscientist Online Sunday 16 December 2007

The Forest of Dean Local History Society has been awarded a grant to create a unique Geomap sculpture of the area. The award of £107,200 has come from DEFRA’s Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund, which is administered by Natural England.

The Geomap will be a geology map of the Forest of Dean. But instead of the familiar bright colours on paper, the strata will be represented by the actual rock types, taken from both working and disused quarries. The flat sculpture will cover 84 square metres, and although the surface will be polished it will be rough enough surface for visitors to walk on it dafely. The Geomap is intended to demonstrate and celebrate the link between the geology of the Forest of Dean, with its long quarrying and mining history.

Planning permission has been granted for the Geomap to be situated at a location called New Fancy, on a flat grassy area opposite the Miners’ Memorial. The sculptor/stonemason who will carry out the project is David Yeates, who also constructed the large rock viewing points at Lydney Docks. The Geomap will be completed by March 2008

The idea of the Geomap evolved from discussions between David Owen (Gloucestershire Geology Trust) and Secretary of the History Society, Dr Liz Berry and her husband Professor David Berry. Liz and Dave then put together the grant application on behalf of the Society. They will be overseeing the work with a sub-committee made up of Cecile Hunt, Averil Kear, Ron Beard and John Sheraton, with full support from the Society’s Chairman Christine Martyn and the rest of the committee. As partners, the Forestry Commission, Gloucestershire Geology Trust, Forest of Dean District Council and Coleford MCTI Partnership will all be offering their expertise as the project progresses.

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