Harrow and Hillingdon Geological Society

Minerals in Britain

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Minerals in Britain

Dr. David Brook works for the Department of the Deputy Prime Minister in the Minerals and Planning Department. This is responsible for the planning of all mineral extraction in Britain (except Scotland who have their own laws).

Minerals in this sense are such things as sands and gravels, brick clay, chalk, hard rocks, slate and metals etc. He gave a graphic account of how the extractions are planned around the geology, and how the land is restored to agricultural or leisure use afterwards. It is amazing just how much effort now goes into restoration.

We saw a bus that had disappeared down a hole that opened up into a mine tunnel, caused by sand infill in a solution hole in bedrock. As the tunnel clipped the bottom of the solution hole the sand ran out like a giant egg timer. The roadway above collapsed under the weight of the bus.

During the questions afterward it became clear just how much legislation exists to protect the environment, and us, from pollution. Altogether it was a fascinating lecture.