Recent Work Describing the Boston Spa Permian Limestones
For several years, a small group of amateur geologists from Boston Spa (the Badgers) have been researching the geology of Permian limestone by looking at new sites along the Wharfe gorge with the help and support of the West Yorkshire Geology Trust.
Firstly, a search of the geological literature took place. This was followed by field work in the abandoned quarries and along the accessible parts of the valley sides. Many of the limestone exposures are found in the riverside woods owned by Boston Spa Parish Council. Access has been facilitated by local volunteers who have cleared some of the rock exposures at the request of the geologists.
The group has also looked at other sites on the Thorp Arch side of the River Wharfe and has realised that there is a lot more information to discover. The geology covers the Permian Cadeby Formation, formerly known as the Lower Magnesian Limestone. The Hampole Beds, which are an important geological boundary within the Cadeby Formation, have been identified in a quarry at Thorp Arch, which is exciting as we know of only one other site in West Yorkshire.
With the information available so far, the group decided to prepare a leaflet - Boston Spa Riverside Cliffs: Rocks and Landscape - explaining the geology of the Boston Spa area. This is now available free from libraries in Boston Spa and Wetherby as a paper copy. It is also available as a downloadable pdf and can be downloaded by clicking this link.
The geological research is by no means finished, as the group wants to continue finding out about the environment of deposition of the Cadeby Formation on the edge of the Permian Zechstein Sea, its fossils and its features. We have enlisted the help of several professional geologists and the work is continuing! Further more detailed information will be added on the West Yorkshire Geology Trust site as it becomes available.
Jackdaw Crag and woodlands area are already designated as a SEGI (Site of Ecological and Geological Importance) but the LGS designation highlights the geology more specifically as one of many sites in West Yorkshire.