Jon Trevelyan (UK)
These three guides by Robert Westwood are in the same simple format. All are local geological guides to specific areas of the UK and all are illustrated by lovely full colour photographs. They all contain simple, introductory geological introductions for the uninitiated, and then more detailed expositions of what makes the regions so special.
And this works. I like local geological guides. Vesuvius is a marvellous thing – a real European geo-icon, but I live in England and cannot afford to go on a Grand Geological Tour. Therefore, as somebody who wants to know more about where I live (and the UK has some of the best and most varied geology in the world), I want to know more about particular areas of the UK that I can actually visit – in bite-sized pieces.
Importantly the guides are all beautifully produced. The quality of the photographs is superb and the specific areas within each region that the author chooses to cover are always interesting. For example, the Cornwall guide inevitably covers the geology behind its historical mining industry, but also covers the granites of the Lizard and other geological outcrops. And the shaping of the rocks is covered, right up to and beyond the last ice age. In the Lake District guide, he deals with the mining, but also the tectonic history of the area. And the Jurassic Coast guide deals succinctly with the geology of the entire coastline, together with its world famous palaeontology.
Therefore, I would urge you to buy books like this, because the geology of the UK is fascinating and authors like Robert worth supporting. He has written several, some of which have been or will be reviewed in this magazine. So you have no excuse not to go out and buy a copy, perhaps just before a holiday break in one of these beautiful regions.
Fossils & Rocks of the Jurassic Coast, by Robert Westwood (4th edition), Inspiring Places Publishing, Aldershot, Fordingbridge (2003), 40 pages (paperback), ISBN: 978-0-956410143
The Geology of the Lake District – an introduction, by Robert Westwood, Inspiring Places Publishing, Aldershot, Fordingbridge (2009), 48 pages (paperback), ISBN: 978-0955206191
The Geology of Cornwall – an introduction, by Robert Westwood, Tor Mark, Redruth, Cornwall (2012), 40 pages (paperback), ISBN: 978-0850254037