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Barrow Hill L.N.R., Dudley

SITE LOCATION AND ACCESS
© GeoconservationUK ESO-S Project, 2014


It is anticipated that the ideas and materials presented here will be adapted by schools, and others, to be more appropriate for their own purposes and programmes of study.

In such circumstances please acknowledge the source as the Earth Science On-Site project.

Contents

Site Details

BAR loc map.jpg
Figure 1: Location Map for the site
SITE NAME:Barrow Hill Local Nature Reserve, administered by Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.
STATUS:Local Nature Reserve [LNR]
GRID REFERENCE:SO 915896
OS MAP(s):1:50,000 Ordnance Survey Sheet 139. Birmingham
BGS MAP(s):1:50,000 Geological Sheet 167 (Dudley)
1:10,000 SO 98 NW
BRIEF DESCRIPTIONSt Mark’s churchyard is suitable for the gravestone trail. The quarry site at Barrow Hill is cut into dolerite of Late Carboniferous age. It is intruded into and metamorphoses, Etruria Marl. It is associated with a volcanic vent, now no longer visible. No material should be hammered, collected or removed, except some sample material from the loose material on the floor of the dolerite quarry.
DIRECTIONS:FROM THE WEST: Take the A449 to Kingswinford, and turn east onto the A4101. Proceed towards Dudley for about two miles. Near Pensnett turn left into Elgar Crescent, and immediately left into Vicarage Lane. Cars are often parked along the side of this road, but a small car park is to be found by the gate to St Mark’s Church. There is space for about six cars and two mini-buses. Parties travelling by coach should be dropped off here and picked up later. The time for the visit as described here is around 3.5 to 4 hours. FROM THE EAST: Leave the M5 at Junction 2 and take the A4123 dual carriageway towards Dudley. At the roundabout take the first exit onto the A461 and continue to the next roundabout. Again take the first exit and continue to the next roundabout on the A461. Take the third exit, and proceed to the next roundabout and take the second exit onto the A4101. Proceed towards Pensnett and take the right turn into Elgar Crescent, and immediately left into Vicarage Lane. Cars are often parked along the side of this road, but a small car park is to be found by the gate to St Mark’s Church. There is space for about six cars and two mini-buses. Parties travelling by coach should be dropped off here and picked up later. The time for the visit as described here is around 3.5 to 4 hours.
ACCESS:THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PLANNING A VISIT:

The Barrow Hill LNR site itself is open all day everyday. However there are no toilet or shop facilities in the immediate area, unless made by prior arrangement with the church authorities.

St Mark’s churchyard is a place requiring appropriate behaviour and sensitivity to the feelings of others. The appropriate permission should be sought before the visit from: St. Marks Parish Office, 01384 839251, or if unavailable with the Vicarage 01384 262666.

A courtesy call to the Barrow Hill LNR warden, on 01384 812780, would also be appreciated. This helps monitor the use and number of visitors.

Things to plan ahead for:

telephone the Parish Office when planning your visit: TEL: 01384 839251. This will help the church to monitor the use of the churchyard, as well as help avoid clashes with ceremonies and funerals; address any religious sensitivities, or misunderstandings within the members of the group. (There are no vampires in this churchyard, for example); establish a clear understanding that the work can be carried out whilst behaving in an appropriate and sensitive manner; have the group realise that some of the people also present in the church grounds may be recently bereaved and upset, or just seeking a place of quiet reflection; consuming food, drink and leaving litter are not appropriate in such a place;

whilst it is permissible to observe, sketch and measure things in the churchyard, damage to any of the monuments, or disrespect of the deceased, is just not acceptable.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: 

Initial Risk Assessment

All group leaders should meet with their parties prior to the On-Site visit and impress upon participants the educational nature of the event, and the need for extra consideration for the safety of themselves and others.

Each group should have a member of staff proficient in First Aid, and carry a mobile telephone for emergencies.

There is no substitute for group leaders viewing the site before the field visit and making their own risk assessment, according to the requirements of their own organisation. The following assessment is only a guide[1].

RISK ACTION
Vicarage Lane is a minor road with no footpaths at its upper end. Drive carefully along this approach road, and take care when walking along it.
The quarry site has very steep slopes, and the access footpaths have sections with steps that may become slippery. Use hard hats, and wear sensible footwear. Do not allow groups to clamber up to the rock faces.
The Barrow Hill area is used by many to exercise their dogs Warn pupils not to approach these animals.
Many of the footpaths can become muddy and slippery when wet. Insist on sensible behaviour, stout footwear and waterproof clothing.

Summary Itinerary for Barrow Hill

BAR3itinmap.jpg

LENGTH OF VISIT

Depending on the amount of time spent on collecting data in the churchyard, from 3.5 to 4 hours.

PARKING

Park minibuses at the small car park by St Mark’s church gate.

SUMMARY OF ITINERARY

Site 1 is any combination of the 3 areas of the churchyard:

  • TASK: Investigate selected hypotheses.

Site 2 is the church gate itself:

  • TASK: Identify and describe the features of the rock used in its construction.

Walk 100 metres north along Vicarage Lane to Site 3.

Site 3 is the stone wall boundary.

  • TASK: To identify the constituent materials used in the construction.

Walk 150 metres north along the stepped path and take the right hand path into the quarry for twenty metres, then fork left.

Site 4 is the quarry face.

  • TASK: To recognise and interpret the igneous features of a dolerite intrusion.

Leave the quarry by the same route and retrace the path up the steps, southwards to the top of Vicarage Lane. Take the left path up the steps to the summit of Barrow Hill.

Site 5 is the view from the summit of Barrow Hill:

  • TASK: To relate aspects of the landscape to the weathering and erosion of less and more resistant rocks. Also to use the housing estate to prompt recognition of the importance of quarried materials in the built environment.

Retrace your steps to Vicarage Lane and the car park.

References

  1. For further information on conducting a Risk assessment go to National Stone Centre www.nationalstonecentre.org.uk


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