Report On The Rotunda Geology Group's Contribution To Dalbyology June 2012

Author: Peter C. Robinson.

Dalbyology is the name given to the North York Moors Forest Districts Annual Public Event based upon displays and demonstrations of organisations with an interest in the natural sciences that play a part in the forests of North Yorkshire.

In 2012 the theme of the event was The Effect of Time on the Forest Ecosystem and the Rotunda Geology Group were able to put on a very effective demonstration and display on the Evolution of the Conifers as well as a small display exhibiting the importance of rocks, fossils and minerals in determining the ecosystems of the past in which the early conifers, ferns and horsetails developed.

Much planning went into the event, which took place on Sunday the 10th of June. Dr.Chris Hill, palaeobotanist and member of the Rotunda Group, with his wife Pam and Stuart Swann, member of the R.G.G. committee who has a remarkable collection of Jurassic plants from the Yorkshire Coast, together planned an excellent display linking modern species of gymnosperms (conifers) and cryptogams (ferns and horsetails) with those of the Middle Jurassic deposits of the Yorkshire Coast. 

The combined expertise of Chris Hill and Stuart Swann was able to link living leaves, shoots and cones of the modern Monkey Puzzle tree, the Yews, Pines, Cedars, Junipers, Redwoods and Swamp Cypress along with modern horsetails and ferns with some of Stuart Swann’s Jurassic fossil plants. A remarkable exhibition of Chris Hill’s worldwide stamps depicting species of living conifers from most of the above tree groups was also on display.

The Rotunda Exhibition was set up in the big marquee, which was shared with the National Trust and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s stand on Animal Intuition. The Forestry Commission also had a stand outside at the entrance. But it became obvious that the Rotunda Geology Group’s exhibition on fossil and modern plants attracted the greatest attention within the marquee. Interest also centred on the R.G.G. banner and adjacent boards displaying photographs and information on past field excursions as well as the free copies of the 2010 and 2011 Record and current Field Programmes.

Certainly it was felt that this was the most successful of the Rotunda Geology Group’s Dalbyology exhibitions and this could not have been achieved without the hard work and support of Chris and Pam Hill, Stuart Swann, Alan Staniforth, Dot Needham, Gerry Butterfill and Peter Robinson. (apologies for any missed out).

Planning is already being underway for 2013 Dalbyology to be held on Sunday June 9th when the theme is to be “Differing Habitats within  Dalby Forest” giving good possibilities for exploring the effect geology has upon living organisms within the plantations of the Forest.

Dalbyology 1. Photograph: Dot Needham
Dalbyology 1.
Photograph: Dot Needham
Dalbyology 2. Photograph: Dot Needham
Dalbyology 2.
Photograph: Dot Needham