Bedfordshire's Greensand Country geotrails win award for excellence

'We wanted to show how geology affects what you see when you’re out walking and Greensand country has many distinct features'

Finding routes to walk in Bedfordshire's Greensand Country has just become easier thanks to new leaflets from Bedfordshire Geology Group (BGG).

As well as suggesting attractive places to visit, the three free 'geotrails' explain how the rocks under your feet affect the scenery that you pass through.

The Curry Fund has awarded the BGG a certificate of excellence for the quality of its leaflets and the Fund’s chairman, Doctor Haydon Bailey, recently presented the framed document to Bev Fowlston from the BGG in front of members and guests at old St Mary’s Church, Clophill.

Constructed of greensand rock, old St Marys church in Clophill makes an appropriate background for Beds Geology group to toast the success of their Greensand Geotrails leaflets.

BGG Secretary, Derek Turner, said: “We wanted to show how geology affects what you see when you’re out walking and Greensand country has many distinct features.

“You’ll find quarries where building stone and sand have been extracted and see distinct plants like heather that can cope with the dry sandy soils.”

A grant from The Curry Fund helped to pay for the leaflets and The Greensand Country Landscape Partnership also helped to cover the costs.

Dr Haydon said: "It is an initiative of high geological significance. It has a wide target audience including both geologists and non-geologists, with a very wide age range.”

The geotrails cover three areas of Greensand Country, which forms a narrow corridor across Bedfordshire.

The Western Geotrail starts from Rushmere Country Park near Leighton Buzzard and the Central Geotrail loops around Maulden. The Eastern Geotrail includes a short walk from the RSPB car park at the Lodge near Sandy and another around Potton with a link between them for seasoned walkers.

Bedfordshire Geology Group was formed in 2004 by a group of enthusiastic amateur and professional geologists. Its principal aim is to "promote an understanding of the rocks and landforms of the county for the benefit of all".

Members maintain sites with interesting geological features and enjoy outings, talks, workshops and social events to improve their knowledge of rocks and fossils. The group also works closely with other organisations including museums and country parks.

The leaflets can be downloaded from the Publications page of the BGG website and a limited number of paper copies are available in museums and libraries.