HOT TOPICS 

 

 

ROCKS AND FOSSILS IN THORP ARCH AND BOSTON SPA – HOW HAS GEOLOGY SHAPED PEOPLE’S LIVES?

Guided walk on Saturday 31st May 2.00 – 4.00 for people of Boston Spa and Thorp Arch.

Meet Alison Tymon of the West Yorkshire Geology Trust and members of the Boston Spa and District Geological Researchers (BADGERS) on Saturday 31st May for a short guided walk along the banks of the River Wharfe.

Volunteers from BADGERS published a leaflet in 2012 explaining the geology of the area. Free copies are available in local libraries and will also be available on the day. The leaflet points out some interesting places to visit in Boston Spa and Thorp Arch and suggests how the rocks were formed and where small fossils can be discovered. Since then the group has been investigating an important geological boundary, called the Hampole Beds, recently discovered by Alan Rayner of Boston Spa in the disused quarry in Front Wood, Thorp Arch. The local area is the only part of West Yorkshire where the Hampole Beds can be seen. They are therefore important and valuable geological sites.

But there are many other reasons why the rocks of Boston Spa and Thorp Arch are special:

· The riverside cliffs have provided us with a beauty spot.

· They remind some people of the Dordogne, but ours were created near the equator 200 million years earlier. So how did they get here?

· Hear what conditions were like then and how the rock was created.

· Look at the microbial mud mounds and stromatolite domes in the cliffs.

· Look for 250 million year old fossilised worm burrows. What other kinds of fossils are there?

· How is the ‘magnesian’ limestone or ‘dolostone’ here different from the limestone in the Dales? Why is ours yellow, with strange holes called vugs, that are useful to birds and spiders?

Why not come long and find out? No experience of geology is required. Our main leader on the walk, Alison Tymon has spent many years teaching and working in this field. All the guides on the walk will be working as a team to provide input from different angles.

I recently gave a talk in Boston Spa Village Hall about our archaeology, ecology, history and geology and how together they create a rich local heritage. To assist on the walk I will be pointing out examples of how the underlying geology has shaped people’s use of this area for thousands of years:

· What evidence can we see around us of the last ice-age?

· What effects did it have on our surroundings?

· Melt-water gullies, river terraces, route-ways, fords?

· How has the land been used? Soils, farming, woodland?

· When was the rock used for building? Were houses ever built into the rocks?

· How many quarries are there nearby?

· Why were medicinal springs and wells important?

Meet at the Thorp Arch end of the bridge over the Wharfe for a walk of about 1 mile. There is no parking available at the meeting place. The walk will follow footpaths which may be muddy, so wear suitable shoes or boots. Binoculars would be useful to see formations in the cliffs by the River Wharfe. There is no charge. No dogs, please, as there is likely to be livestock nearby.

Malcolm Barnes, Boston Spa Archaeology and Heritage Group,


 

    TESCO EXPRESS

The TESCO Planning application for a Certificate of Lawful Use of Existing Development (CLUED) was refused by Leeds City Council some months ago but Tesco have just appealed to the Planning Inspectorate against this decision   This means that a Public Inquiry will be held on 16th and 17th September in the Village Hall at which Leeds City Council and Tsco will go head to head in front of an Inspector appointed by the Government   The nub of the argument is all to do with the planning status of the former Crown Hotel.  Tesco wish to try and prove that it was just a pub or "drinking establishment"  with some occasional letting bedrooms available mainly on a bed and breakfast basis. In other words the accommodation side was only a relatively minor part of the pub business. In planning terms under legislation a "drinking establishment" is classed as A4 Retail use which would allow any lower A class Retail use to be created without any planning consent required for a change of use.

The City Council took the view, based upon an independent barrister's opinion and evidence submitted by the Parish Council and a local resident, that the accommodation side was a more significant element of the business so that it was not purely a "drinking establishment".  The definition therefore was taken as "sui generis" which effectively means a unique class or, in layma's terms, it was a  mixed use  To create an A1 Retail use therefore would require a Change of Use application to be made by Tesco.

Although it is called a Public Inquiry that only means that the public can attend and listen in to the arguments between the opposing barristers and their witnesses.  However the City Council would like to find some additional and local witnesses who could attest to the use that they or their families or friends made of the Crown's accommodation business before it was closed down by Enterprise Inns. If you have such knowledge or know someone who does please do get in touch with the Clerk by e-mail or by telephoning 01937 843956

Keep an eye on this website for updates.


 

 

The new ENGAGE page is now up and running giving you the opportunity to engage with the Parish Council and the community in a "forum" where your views and ideas can be discussed with other residents. Two subjects have already been listed so why not have a look and join in the debate.