2019 Calendar of Events                       

Talks and lectures listed below are at the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Fiveacres, Allet TR4 9DT. Start time 7.00 pm.

Wed 20th February.  Tony Bamford: “The Angry Earth” (AnTyr Serrys) – Well Control and Blowout Prevention.”  

Wed 20th  March. Stephen Lay: “Made in Cornwall”: A modern Day Cousin Jack.

Wed 17th April. Derek Stonley MA MIMMM. Consulting Geologist “In the footsteps of Fleming - The Diamond Smugglers”.   This Geological Topic will be even more meaningful if members have read the book 'The Diamond Smugglers' by Ian Fleming. 

Wed 15th  May. Professor Dianne Edwards of Cardiff University – “The Green Revolution - Plants Invade the Land”.  The initial phases in the colonisation of land, which began some 470 million years ago, transformed the planet. Not only did the pioneers contribute to soil formation and the food and habitats of animals, but, by chemical weathering, they changed the composition of the atmosphere, most notably by CO2 drawdown. The lecture will chronicle and describe the plants and animals involved, show they can be studied from diverse fossils and discuss the impacts of the plants on planet Earth.

Wed 19th June.  Frank Howie BSc, Chair of Cornwall Geoconservation Group. "Landscape and Beyond - exploring the interface between geology and art." Geological and climatic events have been depicted for millennia - from cave illustrations to contemporary art and can be valuable as proxies for climate change, past geologic events and celestial visitations. This talk illustrates a brief history of how art and geology are intertwined and includes examples from Cornwall. 

Wed 17th July.  Mr Chris Burton BSc.  "A Gold Bonanza and a Copper Mine Under a Glacier".  The subject matter of the talk will be a resume of the gold rushes in British Columbia and Alaska followed by a description of the discovery and development of Granduc copper mine.  This is a large mine in a challenging location amidst high mountains and glacier fields and partly under a glacier. The ultimate access was through an 11-mile tunnel bored under several glaciers and there were some devastating avalanches at the site which has some of the highest snowfall in the world. Chris Burton is a geologist. He has worked for many years in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia in gold, copper and asbestos mines.  Chris married in Zambia and moved to Canada, where he worked at Granduc mine and later at Britania mine near Vancouver. This was followed by 5 years in Tasmania at a zinc, lead and copper mine followed by 4 years in Cornwall developing Mt Wellington mine near Wheal Jane. After the closure of that mine he spent 6 years in Bolivia working on an ambitious project of technical aid making a geological map and searching for economic mineral deposits in Eastern Bolivia. 

Wed 21st August.  Members' Evening.  Please do bring along your geological finds for identification and discussion.  Our fellow member, Chris Bean, will introduce us to 'his' Lizard.  This will be a preparation for the September talk detailed below, by mining historian Dr Mike Johnston where Cornish miners recruited from the Wrey Mine at Pensilva went to mine copper in the Dun Mountains, near Nelson New Zealand.

Wed 18th September. Dr Mike Johnston "The Ophialite of Lizard of Dun Mountains in New Zealand". Dr Mike Johnston is now an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services in geological science and history.  He is a leading authority on the geology of the Nelson region in New Zealand and has authored numerous publications and completed field work covering most of the top of the South Island. He has been a member of the Geological Society of New Zealand and its successor, Geosciences Society of New Zealand, since 1962. He was President of the National Committee and convened the Historic Studies Group. He was elected to the International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences, representing Australasia and the Pacific. He was President of the Nelson Historical Society and was involved with the Nelson Provincial Museum and the Royal Society Nelson Branch. Dr Johnston has been a Trustee and Chairman of the Nelson Heritage Protection Trust and a Trustee of the McKee Charitable Trust. 

Growing up in the rich landscapes of Nelson has led Dr Michael Robert Johnston to become an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services in geological science and history. Mike Johnston has been interested in geology, seeing his role as someone getting to understand "why New Zealand, and particularly Nelson, is how it is" while sharing that information to the general public through groups, talks and books. Johnston said when he was young, family outings around the region sparked his enthusiasm for earth science – being fascinated by fossils, rocks and the terrain.

More information on Dun Mountain, Nelson Region, New Zealand