We have a programme of 10 Monthly talks running from September to June each year, held on the second Monday of every month. All talks (unless specified otherwise) are at 7.30 pm (doors open 7.00 pm). Everyone welcome, free to CGS members, £3 for non members. From September 2022 onwards these will be held in the hall at St Andrew’s Church, Histon.
More information on the Events page
Monday 10th October 2022 (7.00 for) 7.30pm
Darwin and the geology of Galapagos
Charles Darwin is, of course, justly famous for his detailed compilation and analysis of the evidence that formed the basis for a non-theological explanation of the diversification of organic life on Earth through the publication of “On the Origin of Species” in 1859. His subsequent books reinforced these views, and history shows that he was able to establish new branches of scientific investigation, and that his theoretical model was largely correct – even though he couldn’t induce the underlying mechanism that made it all happen. As a consequence, he stands alongside Newton as one of our intellectual pillars. But what if he had not published for fear of offending society and his deeply religious wife Emma: would we even remember him? I think we most probably would remember Darwin because the early part of his career saw him establish himself as one of the most able observational and interpretative geologists in the world (Geikie was shocked to realise this in 1907!) – Darwin just got distracted from his “first love” by all those organisms.
New Walk Guide published on the Fen Edge Trail
Known for its location on the River Cam and its nearby Chalk hills, Cambridge is still very much a fen edge city. Arriving in Cambridge from the north, along the River Cam, the Trail reaches the distinctive landscape feature of Castle Hill, the site of an early, and highly strategic, settlement that developed to become one of the world’s most iconic cities. This walk takes you down from the hill and across the ancient Magdalene Bridge, before winding along the river valley, past several colleges and providing quintessential views of the ‘Backs’. After passing through the characteristic ‘fens’ that still survive along the Cam, it finishes at the internationally important Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences. Guiding you through what is now a mostly hidden landscape, the walk takes you back in time, giving a glimpse into the city’s past and the natural history of the area, from ‘Ice Ages’ to sub-tropical swamps and fenland rivers. You will discover how its natural character still filters through, seen in the riverside meadows, the numerous water channels, the subtle changes in the height of the land and even in the building stones used in many of its famous buildings.
Field Trip Report – Burwell Local Geological Sites
The society organises occasional field trips to view important geological sites within the county and hopefully further afield in post pandemic times. These trips are primarily for our members.
In early summer 2021 we had a popular visit to the Burwell Local Geological Sites and are scheduling some others to East Pit, Cherry Hinton, a walk along the Fen Edge from Swaffham Bulbeck to Reach, a visit to Nine Wells chalk spring and a tour of the building stones of Cambridge city center. These are primarily for the benefit of members: any member wishing to participate should contact us.
A write up for this trip may be found here.
Our December 2021 newsletter is now available to members.
Our previous newsletters are available to everyone (download below). They have plenty of ideas for some virtual geology!
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Cambridgeshire has a fascinating landscape and an interesting geology. See our Landscapes page for more details and download the excellent leaflet ‘The Mapping of Landscapes, Geology and Soils of Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire’ by Timothy Farewell, Peter Friend, Martin Whiteley and Joanna Zawadzk.
© Cambridgeshire Geological Society