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Abstract

Local voluntary natural science societies played an important role in the development of early modern geotourism. This chapter explores the development of field, especially geological, excursions and their popularity in two local natural science societies – The Chester Society of Natural Science and the Woolhope Naturalists’ Field Club – from the 1850s to the 1950s. Both societies were established in the borderlands between England and Wales and had a strong emphasis on local and regional scientific studies. They exemplify broader trends in public engagement in the natural sciences and associated fieldwork consequent upon the British socio-political environment. Further, they draw out comparisons between the attitudes of society to excursions and scientific fieldwork, as well as involvement by social status and gender.

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