07 February 2021
If you wish to explore something different during your local daily exercise Horsley has an interesting geology. All our local bedrocks were formed 300 million years ago in a time geologists call the Carboniferous. All the rocks strike towards the river Tyne and dip gently to the east. Horsley was at that time near the tropics and surrounded by shallow seas teaming with life, muddy mangroves and huge trees. It was the time of the first amphibians , birds and insects. The village is built on a coarse sandstone which you can see at the top of Mill Way and in most of the older houses in the village. Limestone can be found near Whittle and at Harlow Hill where the quarry has numerous fossils of shellfish and corals. The coal which is formed from the ancient forest and the ganister, the soil in which the trees grew, has been worked out by opencast in the 1970,s. Shale can be found in the banks of the Whittle burn and this rock represents the muddy mangrove swamps. The whole area is topped with the more recent glacial clay, sands and gravels. There are numerous springs on the north side of the village where underground water cannot penetrate the shale and surfaces in the street.
Work has started again on improving access to the church despite the poor weather last week. There is surface water everywhere around the parish and many footpaths are muddy. The main road to the west of the village is severely potholed with much of the tarmac on the pavement making access difficult. It has been reported to NCC. Another area where you need to take care is on the pavement after you pass under the A69 bridge near Horsley Barns. Water coming out of the field has been freezing over and forcing people onto the road.
The highways company “Amey” has been checking and photographing lampposts and telegraph poles in the village. They have also been looking at trees which are growing near the former street furniture and may be considering trimming branches. Planning permission is required to remove mature trees and branches.
Thank you to the many volunteers who clean village bus shelters and pick up litter. Would volunteers kindly let Mandy Senior, the parish clerk, know which areas you look after so that areas missed can be adopted.
Several village clubs have found ways to keep in contact with members during the pandemic. Craft club members have been sent materials to make a Valentines heart at home. Book club members are planning a poetry session on Zoom.