I got interested in rocks and fossils at a young age and as a result, joined Rockwatch after reading about it on the website of the Natural History Museum.
Like most children I loved dinosaurs and fossils, but Rockwatch opened up a new world beyond that – an introduction to the scientific procedure and understanding. I always looked forward to receiving my issues of the Rockwatch Magazine and adding more fact cards to my ‘Rox File’.
On numerous occasions I participated in the annual Rockstar Competition and was graciously awarded 1st and 2nd prize for a range of technical projects. The prize giving, hosted by Anglo American (now Anglo American Group Foundation) in London, always included a lecture from one of their geologists speaking about a specialised field; these were most inspiring about potential future pathways.
There’s nothing more exciting than a field trip, and participating in the excursions organised by Rockwatch were good introductions to the more sophisticated fieldwork I do nowadays. In 2014, when I was a more mature member, I got the opportunity to help out on a field trip for Rockwatch to a couple of my local quarries where I had frequently collected fossils with my family. I ought to thank my family for encouraging and putting up with my endless fossil and rock specimens dotted around the house, and for taking me out collecting across the UK, from the Isle of Wight to the Highlands of Scotland.
Joining Rockwatch opened up many great opportunities to explore my passion further and brought me to the attention of related geological events such as the Festival of Geology organised by the Geologists’ Association. It was here I discovered and become a member of my local geological group, the Hertfordshire Geological Society, where I attended monthly lectures and occasional field trips whilst doing my GCSEs and A Levels. Rockwatch helped nurture my hobby, leading me onto learning more advanced geology, and now I find myself studying Physical Geography and Geology at the University of Plymouth, midway between the excellent Jurassic Coast and hard rock geology of Cornwall.
At the end of my degree I look forward to a geological related career, and will not forget the fantastic work done by Rockwatch helping me achieve where I am today.