At our 2008 EGM Bev Fowlston (Club Secretary, Membership Secretary and acting Chairman) presented a history of the group. Her presentation is available for viewing (with, if you don't have PowerPoint, a free MicroSoft viewer) and her notes are presented here: -

History of BGG

Year 1 - 2004-05
Dec 2004 Began as Bedfordshire & Luton RIGS Panel on behalf of the Bedfordshire & Luton Biodiversity Forum

Set up with funding from English Nature

Original aim was to establish a RIGS system similar to County Wildlife Sites

Original members were:
  • Richard Woolnough (Greensand Trust)
  • Richard Lawrence (Ivel & Ouse Countryside Project)
  • Chris Andrew (Bedford Museum and BNHS Recorder)
  • Dr Jill Eyers
Jan 2005 Phase I included the designation of 11 sites
Jun 2005 Emphasis was given to education and awareness raising

Year 2 - 2005-06
Sep 2005 Website was up and running

Malcolm Oliver was formally elected as Chairman of the now Bedfordshire and Luton Geology Group (B&LGG)

Vision for the role of the RIGS Group was outlined as:
“To build a picture of Bedfordshire's geology and identify a variety of sites that represent the county's geology and to promote and conserve these sites as appropriate and to raise public awareness of local geology.”
Dec 2005 15 paid up members
Mar 2006 23 paid up members and the LHI bid was submitted for £22,357
Jun 2006 First tranche of £11,178.50 received Local Geodiversity Action Plan was started
First batch of leaflets was printed with help from various partners including WBB Minerals, Greensand Trust and Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund
Phase II designation of sites increases total to 17
40 paid up members
Aug 2006 43 paid up members and became affiliated member of UKRIGS

Year 3 - 2006-07
Sep 2006 First AGM held
Oct 2006 46 paid up members and became a member of The Geology Trusts
Jan 2007 LGAP and RIGS Audit Report completed
51 paid up members and an increase in membership fees agreed, increasing from £5 per annum to £7.50
Jul 2007 New RIGS Manager appointed - Dr Martin Whiteley
Phase III designation of sites increases total to 23
41 paid up members

Year 4 - 2007-08
Sep 2007 2nd AGM held
No chairman appointed as Malcolm Oliver stepped down
Oct 2007 Martin Sims took over the website and has produced some excellent results - culminating in a more dynamic website that is constantly being updated.
Jan 2008 52 paid up members
Oct - Mar 2008 Very busy period with the LHI funding running out in March many deadlines had to be met:
  • 7 more leaflets researched and printed
  • 4 interpretation boards researched and produced
  • educational workshops run
  • geoconservation projects at Potton and Kensworth begun
Mar 2008 LHI funding completed
Site Management Plan for Potton completed
17 paid up members
Jun 2008 44 paid up members
Kensworth still in progress