Rubery Cutting

An insight into works supported by the Birmingham & Black Country Nature Improvement Area to enhance Rubery Cutting, one of Birmingham’s most important geological exposures.

In February 2013, the Birmingham & Black Country Nature Improvement Area began to support work to enhance the educational value of Rubery Cutting as one of Birmingham’s most important geological exposures.

In January 2006 it was established that Rubery Cutting and bordering Leach Green Quarry SINC exhibit the earliest Silurian age deposits within the South Staffordshire Coalfield making it a unique aid in the interpretation and understanding of early Silurian palaeontology and the associated palaeo-environment.

Although the rock face itself is in generally good condition, its value as an educational resource is currently compromised due to lack of management. Encroachment of vegetation on the rock faces and an access path are having a detrimental impact on the visibility of the geological features and therefore the educational and community value of the site.

Work was completed to remove trees and scrub from the access path and treat the stumps with herbicide to minimise re-growth. Volunteers from GeoChampions, with the support of the Birmingham City Council Ranger Service, removed soil from selected areas of the cleared rock face, to improve the visibility of important features. Going forward volunteers from the Black Country Geological Society/Lickey Hills Country Park will work with the Ranger Service to undertake ongoing maintenance to ensure that the cleared exposures remain visible and free of vegetation.

This project supported the NIA’s objectives as it aided the clearance of vegetation from geological exposures and with the participation of numerous volunteers helped to encourage community engagement.