The Book

Cover of the book (published October 2021)

‘All Our Own Water’ has 288 pages with some 190 colour photo plates, maps and diagrams that describe the exceptional landscape and physical features of the Gower peninsula. The book is hardbound and superbly printed and bound in Wales by Gomer Press. It is sold ‘not-for-profit’, for lovers of Gower and the Welsh landscape.

Back-cover text: The author grew up on Gower, exploring, rock climbing and caving whenever possible. School provided the fascinating notion that local water-supply springs were partly fed from limestone hills far to the north, under the South Wales Coalfield. Free ranging on Gower ended when leaving school without A-levels but with a strong desire to work outside. In 2016, retiring as George Herdman Professor of Geology at the University of Liverpool, he returned to Gower and continued exploring, at last able to investigate sources of the springs and the development of the spectacular coastal scenery and caves. Discoveries include:

  • Evidence that Gower springs are fed only by Gower rainfall.
  • Explanations for the coastal platforms and slades.
  • Lundy volcano as a key to unravelling 60 million years of Gower landscape evolution.
  • Detailed limits and features of the Welsh Ice on Gower during the last glaciation.
  • Evidence that a glacier crossed eastern Gower to beyond the present coast.
  • Remarkable records of ancient processes and environments preserved in cliffs and rock falls.
  • Evidence that main Gower caves started forming at least 10 million years ago.
  • Iconic Patella Beach reinterpreted as a super-storm deposit.
  • Rare exquisite microrills in limestone proving the former existence of sand dunes.
  • Chemistry and turbidity of springs recording remarkable drought and flood processes.
  • Glacial conditions and catastrophic debris flow recorded in main caves.
  • Half million-year-old cockle shells delivered from Carmarthen Bay to central Gower by ice.
Geological map and cross-section of Gower peninsula, from the new book