Field work in deep time



Target audience

It is hoped that the apps will be a real help to anyone teaching Earth science, combining modern technology which engages students with some practical exercises that make them think and tests their geological knowledge and skills.

Voyager deeptime app has been aimed at KS3 to KS4 students and assumes the level of Earth science knowledge that they should have gained by KS3. The gaming approach has been shown to engage youngsters of this age throughout a full day of field work.

The GeoExplore app is aimed at ‘A’ level students and may also be a useful voluntary / refresher exercise for undergraduates.


Field locations

Voyager deeptime and GeoExplore apps have been written for each of four locations so far:

Lickey Hills (south-west of Birmingham)
Marley (in the Abberley Hills, Worcestershire)
Little Doward (above the Wye Gorge, Herefordshire)
Olchon Valley (SW Herefordshire, bordering the Black Mountains)

Locations for further details of the terrain and exercises.
Please contact us if you need more information.

There are also plans to make available a template for the apps via this website, so that teachers can write content for their own local area. Your app (Voyage) content would be hosted on the Voyages in Deep Time system for a small fee and we can provide technical support (charged) if you need it with developing the content.  Contact us if you are interested in this



Both apps are intended to be used in the field at these locations. The well-illustrated Voyager deeptime app can also be used anywhere indoors, providing an engaging and informative class-room exercise.

It is also assumed that to make best use of the apps that you will prepare the students in class for what they will be doing before going out and discuss it with them when you return. All information about each voyage can be accessed and read at anytime, but initially you are not able to answer questions away from the app location. The Wilderness Voyage is designed to be used anywhere, and is pre-loaded into the app to provide a testing space to allow pupils to learn their way around the controls and get used to playing the game. The GeoExplore exercises do anticipate that students will review and continue to interpret the data they have collected when back in class.

If you wish to use Voyager deeptime away from the set locations, you need to unlock the GPS control, as by default the app does not allow questions to be answered unless the user is in the field.

Please see FAQ for details of how to do this.

For students with mobility problems, they could use the Voyager app at a stationary location outdoors in the field area, and still enjoy completing the Voyager game, using the visual information provided on the app screens.

In addition all the content of the Voyages can be viewed here as can the content for the GeoExplore field trips.



The apps are planned for full day outings and you should allow a 5 – 6 hour field day for most of the routes / exercises.

The exceptions are:

Olchon Valley Voyager route (Cat’s Back) can be completed in half a day

Little Doward GeoExplorer is best done over two consecutive days, the second day being an optional mapping exercise based on the lithologies that the students describe and name on the first day. You may choose to only do the first day, or with a very able and fit group of students do the full exercise, including the mapping in a single long day.

If Voyager deeptime is used indoors, it can take from 30 – 90 minutes to complete the questions, depending upon how much of the environmental and geological information the students read and how much discussion takes place.

GeoExplore is essentially intended for use  in the field.



The apps are available for Apple and Android devices. They have been written to be suitable for use on a smartphones and tablets. Note: The non-cellular version of iPads do not have full GPS support so that will limit their use in the field.

For the GeoExplore exercises the app provides most of the tools the students need, including a compass, clinometer, grain description and rock naming charts and GPS-tagged note, image and sound recording. However, technology is not infallible and we suggest that the students do also carry traditional equipment that either the app cannot provide or as back up – such as a hand lens, grain size card, tape measure, compass-clinometer, notebook and pen/pencil.

If your school allows it, some dilute (5 – 10%) hydrochloric acid may be carried in a small dropper bottle in the group or by the teacher to assist with identifying limestones, although the app indicates if there would be a positive reaction at various sites. Hammering is not encouraged or required (as the app includes close up images of fresh rock surfaces) but it is up to individual teachers to decide if it may be a useful additional demonstration.

The use of acid or hammers is not required by the app and would be the decision of the teacher / school. Herefordshire & Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust accepts no liability if this is done.


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