The value of urban trails, statuary and installations for Geoscience Education: uses and abuses from the north of England and further afield

Phillip J. Murphy, Elizabeth Murphy


The origins, uses and fates of a number of purpose built urban educational resources sited in the north of England are reviewed. These include walk on geological maps, building stone trails, a church gate and landscaping in a city park. A geological trail in the municipal cemetery of Rochdale dating from 1855 is a candidate for the oldest purpose made geological education trail in the world and the most recent educational resource was built in 2015. The destruction of a walk on geological map of England and Wales in 2004 shows that such valuable geoscience educational resources are in need of protection. A range of educational uses of these resources are suggested. Comparison is made with similar resources in London, both statuary and web based, and ways to ensure their preservation and continued educational use are suggested. This study shows that a geoscience education resource, if sited in the right place and looked after, can be an exciting and inspirational education resource in regular use for over half a century.


Geology; Education; Trail; Urban; Installation.

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