An outstanding contributor to natural history in Hertfordshire

John is an eminent geologist and the author of our acclaimed book Hertfordshire Geology and Landscape published in 2010.

Hertfordshire, in many respects an undistinguished county, has amazingly interesting geology. The need for a book linking geology to other aspects of natural history was mooted by the Society in 1950 and Percy Evans took up the challenge. John took on the task after Percy's death in 1973.

John worked on soil research at Rothamsted Research and is now Honorary Professor of Geography at University College London. He says that when, in 1973, Enid Evans asked him to complete the Hertfordshire Geology book, he was intimidated by its scope and, with little support from others, progress was slow. However after retiring from Rothamsted, the honorary position at UCL allowed him to undertake the necessary self-education to cover most of the subject areas. It was published in 2010 to critical acclaim and has achieved importance nationally.

John sees the book's main strength as explaining how the county's geology links with other important aspects of the natural environment, soils, ecology, agriculture, archaeology and mineral resources.

John, who lives in St Albans with his wife Diana, has been the county recorder for geology for many years and is a leading light in the Hertfordshire Geological Society. He is a generous communicator on his subject and has published many specialist articles, but his book is a major achievement to knowledge and understanding of the natural history of our fascinating county.