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Abstract

This paper explores, within a historical context, the importance of geoconservation of not only sites but also artefacts, collections and specimens as well as letters and original documents. It sets out the search and finding of sites in northeast Wales and materials thought lost then found and the subsequent nomination of Regionally Important Geological/Geomorphological Sites (RIGS) conservation status of the sites to safeguard them for the future. It is important to note that RIGS can be designated for their historical value alone, which is in contrast to Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), which are protected solely for their national scientific and research value.

The role of Ethel Woods (neé Skeat) and Margaret Crosfield in developing an understanding of the geological history of northeast Wales had been lost over time. This paper contains biographical sketches of the two women, followed by their Lower Palaeozoic lithological, structural and graptolite research and places it in an historical context. This case study illustrates how female curiosity, perseverance and attention to detail unearthed previously forgotten treasures.

The importance of conserving their sites, specimens and sketch field notebooks in our electronic and throw-away age is vital. The role of the North East Wales Regionally Important Geological/Geomorphological Sites (NEWRIGS) in conserving this information is put forward as an example of good practice.

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