geology-panelsThe Lion Salt Works Museum, has won almost £2000 of funding from the Geologists’ Association’s prestigious Curry Fund to pay for new geology panels and a new web page. These will give in-depth geological information about the salt beds beneath Cheshire and are designed to appeal to the country’s many amateur and professional geologists.

The Museum is the only salt museum in the country. It is also one of the last remaining open-pan, salt-making sites in the world and for this reason is an Ancient Scheduled Monument, with the same protection status as Stonehenge.

Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “Since re-opening, the Museum has had lots of interest from the geological community. In order to continue to attract this audience plus young geology students from across the region, the Museum wanted to broaden what it offers. We are delighted that the Geologists’ Association’s Curry Fund were able to help us with this grant and we hope it will eventually open the doors for specialist geological tours. Our thanks also go to Cheshire RIGS* for using their in-depth local experience to write these boards for the Museum.”

Susan Brown, Curry Fund Secretary and Rockwatch Chair of the Geologists’ Association, said: “The salt beneath Cheshire makes it very interesting for geologists and we are pleased to help the Lion Salt Works by providing funding for three new display boards and the content for a new geology web page. We hope that existing and aspiring geologists will enjoy this new material and that the museum will go from strength-to-strength in promoting its geological credentials, locally, regionally and nationally.”

Since 1858, the Geologists’ Association has actively promoted the study of geology to all who are interested in the past, present and future of the natural world. The Association’s Curry Fund supports a variety of causes such as geological conservation projects and geological publications, including film, video and television productions.

The Lion Salt Works Museum, re-opened after a four-year, £10m restoration, thanks to £5m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It tells the story of salt and its impact on the landscape, people and industries of the area, through fun and interactive displays. Last year, it staged a Geology Day that attracted national salt experts from Imperial College London and Lancaster University as well as geological associations from around the region and young geologists. The Museum has won seven awards since re-opening, including this year’s National Lottery ‘Heritage Project 2016’ – won after a national public vote.

On 18 November, Cheshire RIGS hosted a Geodiversity and Geoconservation Conference at the Lion Salt Works Museum, aimed at introducing community geoscience to non-specialists audiences, such as planners, Local Authority officers, ecologists and engineers.  Between December 6 – 31 March, the Museum will also host an exhibition on ‘The Cheshire Salt Industry Today’.

Photo:  Young geologists from Calday Grange Grammar School, West Kirby, Wirral at the Lion Salt Works Museum looking at a geological map of England. The pupils attended a Geology Day hosted by the Museum in 2015.