Stockbury chalk pit
Who are GeoConservation Kent?
The GeoConservation Kent Group is a loose association of people who care about geological sites and wish to identify, conserve, enhance and research those of particular importance in Kent.
The group is organised by a committee whose members are elected annually.
In addition to the normal offices such as Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and Minutes Secretary, the committee includes other members who have been co-opted for their particular skills. The major task of conducting site surveys or letting contracts for such work, requires that most committee members are professional geologists or palaeontologists, or have particular experience in their allocated tasks.
What does GeoConservation Kent do?
Local groups, acting under the central guidance of a UK RIGS group, were formed to identify, research, protect and maintain Regionally Important Geological Sites (RIGS) for further research and educational purposes.
In June 2006 there were 56 local RIGS groups in the UK. Thirty (30) of these were members of the Association of United Kingdom RIGS Groups (UKRIGS).
Why are Geological Sites Important?
Geology literally means 'study of the earth'. It is a study that has affected the lives of all of us.
It has enabled us to calculate the age of the earth, to understand the causes of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and to predict their occurrence. It is the fundamental science of mining and quarrying.
Mining has provided metals used in the manufacture of cars, ships and aircraft, our domestic appliances and the electronic equipment that so dominates modern life. Mining is also the source of the fuels, coal, oil and gas, which have powered our industries for over two hundred years.
For centuries quarrying has provided stone for buildings, bridges and roads; and chemicals for fertilisers and countless other applications.
Much of our geological knowledge has come from the study of exposed rock faces and the fossil remains found in the rock strata. Such sites are a vital part of our historical heritage. Sadly, many are being lost through neglect or vandalism, necessitating an active geo-conservation policy to protect them for the benefit of future generations.