Field Trip to Askham Fell 1st June 2016
The party met on the open fell at 6.30pm on a fine sunny evening. John Rodgers, our leader, began by describing the features of the Lowther Valley to the south. This valley is bordered on the east by Carboniferous limestone escarpments and on the west by the rugged terrain of the Borrowdale Volcanics. Between the two the relatively easily eroded Skiddaw Group rocks occur and underlie the lower part of the valley.
We then walked northwards over the fell, noticing sink holes and one small exposure of the limestone. We crossed the narrow sandstone band of the Ravonstonedale Group, which is very poorly exposed but members located a few specimens of the well-sorted, gingery coloured sandstone. A pause was made to consider a line of enigmatic depressions which were probably man made rather than sink holes. The party continued to Heughscar Hill to enjoy the magnificent view along Ullswater. Again the underlying geology was reflected in the topography. Here the BVG group form the high rugged fells to southern and southeastern boundaries of the Lake. To the north west Great Mell Fell and Little Mell Fell and the smaller fells of Soulby Fell and Bowerbank are smooth, rounded hills of the Mell Fell Conglomerate. Closer to the viewpoint the low land is again a reflection of the erosion of the Skiddaw Group rocks which underlie this area.
From this panorama the group moved eastwards to a small exposure of limestone pavement and a tumbledown limestone wall where a range of fossils – colonial and solitary corals, and a variety of brachiopods – were identified.
This was the last stop after which the party returned to the cars and thanked John for a very enjoyable evening.