The Landscape ‘Canvas’: The Unique Geology and Ecology of Greensand Country. 1/4 series of webinars on the theme of Historic Parklands in Greensand Country

Monday 03rd May 2021 19:15 - 21:00

The first of four webinars exploring the theme of Historic Parklands in Greensand Country at landscape level.  The Greensand Country landscape has the highest concentration of historic parklands in the country.  The first webinar in the series looks at the foundation ‘layers in the landscape’ of geology and ecology in Greensand Country upon which Historic Parklands have clustered.  There will be two presentations delivered by Bev Fowlston (Beds Geology Group) and Derek Niemann (Smallwoods Magazine Editor and a country diary writer for the Guardian).

Send name and email address to to book your place.

Presentation 1 (Length approx 30 minutes)

Title: The Geology of Greensand Country

Speaker: Bev Fowlston – Beds Geology Group

Greensand Country is a geological area from which distinctive habitats and heritage arises in contrast to the surrounding landscapes.  We explore the unique geology of this area which directly relates to Greensand Country having the highest concentration of historic parklands in the country.

Presentation 2 (Length approx 40 minutes)

Speaker: Derek Niemann – Writer and Smallwoods Magazine Editor

Title: Orchids in the Mud: The Greensand Ridge in an Ancient Woodland Story

Britain’s ancient woodlands were devastated during the second half of the 20th century, a period that saw more than a third of them lost. What were the factors that caused this calamity to happen and what impact did it have in Greensand Country? Writer Derek Niemann pieces together what happened both nationally and locally and finds out what documents from the past and evidence from the present tells us about the woodlands that are with us today. What are the clues that help us to read the history of a wooded landscape? This is a journey that relies on trees, plants, names, shapes, symbols, hypothesis and imagination.

About the Speakers:

Bev Fowlston is an amateur geologist with an interest in all the Earth Sciences. She has worked as a volunteer for Bedfordshire Geology Group since it began in 2004.  Bev gained her BSc at Durham University and her MSc at The Open University. During her time with BGG, Bev has researched and developed several information leaflets about Bedfordshire’s geology.

Long term Bedfordshire resident Derek Niemann began a career in conservation with the Wildlife Trust in 1986, as development officer. Three years later, he left for the RSPB and stayed there for 25 years. Since 2014, Derek has been a freelance writer, editor and teacher of creative writing for the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education. He is the author of three books of adult non-fiction, including A Tale of Trees: the Battle to Save Britain’s Ancient Woodland. Derek is the editor of the Smallwoods Association magazine and a country diary writer for the Guardian.