Skip to content

Wales may be a relatively small nation, but it has a huge geological heritage. It has attracted geologists since the very earliest days of geological exploration, and is still considered to be a prime destination for field excursions. 

Over 700 million years of geological history can be seen in exposures across our mountains, valleys, sweeping landscapes and coastal cliffs. Volcanic rocks and slates tell the tale of fiery, turbulent times, whilst sediments packed with fossils show evidence of changing environments and sea-levels. Rich coal seams and mineral ore deposits gave rise to the rich mining and industrial history of Wales. 

As part of the festival we thought that we would share a suggested geological walk itinerary for the beautiful Pembrokeshire coastline, written for us by Cindy Howells. We hope it isn't too long until we can visit this area again.

The SWGA was founded over 60 years ago and enjoys a monthly programme of winter talks and summer field excursions across the whole of south Wales and the surrounding counties of Wales and England. We produce a range of publications including numerous guides to the local geology, many of which are available to download from our website. We are an exceedingly friendly group of amateur and professional geologists and guests are always welcome at out meetings. so why not come along and give us a try?  Full details of us and our activities can be found on our web site at www.swga.org

Link to the Geologists' Association website

Now that autumn is with us, we would normally be enjoying our lecture series. We aren't going to let a global pandemic get us down and so we have started to have some lectures via zoom with an opportunity before the lecture for a group chat just as we have always done. Last Saturday, Alan Bowring gave an excellent talk entitled: Cribarth - a view from your desktop and we have recorded it so if you missed it, follow the link below to go to our YouTube channel to watch in your own time!

Its almost September already but there are some welcome signs of the SWGA getting back to normal... a little bit anyway! Have a look at our news letter to learn about a first tentative field meetings, our postponed (and first by Zoom!) AGM and other articles which we hope you will find of interest.

The current Covid-19 lock-down has sadly disrupted our usual program of lectures and field trips this year. In keeping with the unusual times, this newsletter is a little different as it contains articles from our members as well as news  to ensure we still keep a little geology in our lives! You can download our latest enhanced newsletter here.

Take care everyone and we'll look forward to seeing you all again "on the other side"!

In many places in the South Wales Coalfield we find the remains of the plants which made the coal. For many of us these are fragments that we struggle to understand as part of a whole organism, but with the help of Rhian Kendall (Geologist, Artist and former president) you do not need to imagine any more you can see them reconstructed in full colour

PLEASE NOTE: This itinerary is an extract from a book partly compiled during the 1990s. The text and photographs reflect the geological knowledge of that time as well as the accessibility of the locations.

Please ensure that you ask permission from landowners to visit any of the locations mentioned in this text, which are on private property and that you are suitably equipped for rough terrain and fickle local weather.

This section includes the Group’s magazine Welsh Geological Quarterly, published between 1965 and 1970.

The compilation has been scanned from cyclostyled issues of the magazine. Original issues are in the Publications cardboard archive box. As with some other older papers, the better the quality of the original printing, the higher the degree of searchability. A search for “Bassett” in the digital compilation gives 63 mentions, but there are most certainly more occurrences than this.

The Welsh Geological Quarterly (edited by Dr Douglas Bassett) was published in several numbers, forming 5 volumes, between 1965 and 1970.
It was an in-house periodical, cyclostyled and published 4 times a year. It was duplicated on 21cm x 26.5cm paper stapled between soft covers (vol.1 cream, vol.2 red, vol.3 grey, vol.4 green, vol.5 orange). The charge for volume 1 parts 1 & 2 was 6/- (2s 6d per copy + 6d postage). Similarly for volume 1 parts 3 & 4 [6/- is 30p in decimal currency].

The Group was unable to sustain support for this and despite the Editor’s efforts, it ceased publication in 1970 with volume 5 part 1.

These journals were digitized in 2014. The Scanned versions are available here and remain copyright South Wales Geologists' Association

A detailed introduction to the Volumes is also provided

Geologists' Association National Conference 2017

The South Wales Geologists' Association were the hosts for this event in the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff 21 - 22 October 2017

Information about the event is available here: -

Following the conference, Colin Summerhayes has provided slides from his talks, available here for download

A three-day symposium of interest to all geologists, particularly palaeontologists, stratigraphers, sedimentologists and structural geologists comprising lectures, field excursions, poster displays and public activities in the heart of the Fforest Fawr Geopark.it was held on Friday 3rd October – Sunday 5th October 2014 at the Elim Church Centre, Brecon

Information about that prior event is available here: -

Following the conference, a number of the lectures were written up as papers in the Proceedings of the Geologists Association Volume 128, Issue 3