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Photo of Hay Head Wood and Dingle

Geosite No 28

Hay Head Quarry

This geosite lies within the Cuckoos’ Nook and Dingle Local Nature Reserve occupying 7 hectares of the borough. It is important both as the only site at which the effects of the eastern boundary fault of the Black Country coalfield can be seen in the landscape, and also as the type location of the lower Wenlock series (Barr Limestone Member of the Coalbrookdale Formation (Sheinwoodian stage)) and also is that of the ‘Barr Trilobite’, Bumastus barriensis.  Exposures lying within the long linear strip of the old quarries are of shaley units with bentonites. Straigraphically they are  within the Lowest part of the Much Wenlock Limestone Formation and contain fossils and microfossils that contrast strongly with the upper parts of the Wenlock Series exposed elsewhere (Geosites 2 , 10 and 17) These beds are abruptly  terminated to the east where they are down-faulted by the Eastern Boundary Fault and are juxtaposed with Coal Measures strata.

The faulting also results in contrasting soils on either side that introduce two completely contrasting types of woodland. Parts of the site are ancient semi-natural woodland with an associated rich flora including many plants which are rare or uncommon in the conurbation This is an important geoscience site in on-going research on microfossils and carbon isotope correlation. Walking trails, education material, and an interpretive leaflet are available for this key geopark, geotourism, and geoeducation.

Walsall - Nature Reserves   

Walsall - Hay Head Wood

Geosite facilities

There is no visitor centre, café or toilets at the site, so plan your visit with this in mind.

Geosite 020 Walsall New Art Gallery has a variety of contemporary exhibitions and Museum shop. Free admission. Costa Café, baby changing facilities and toilets located on the ground floor.  There is a range of bars, pubs and restaurants nearby. Visit http://thenewartgallerywalsall.org.uk/visit/

Geosite 020 Walsall Leather Museum have been making some of the world's finest saddles and leather goods for over two hundred years. It celebrates the great achievements of local leather craftsmen and women, and tells the story of the Walsall leather trade. Admission free. School and group visits welcome. Saddle Room Café, Museum shop, baby changing and toilet facilities all available. Visit https://go.walsall.gov.uk/leathermuseum

Geosite 016 Walsall Arboretum has a visitor centre providing Geopark leaflets and information on visitor attractions, a café selling hot and cold beverages and refreshments, toilet facilities and on street car parking with charges. For more information call +44 (0) 1922 654318.