From April to October the Society organises a number of excursions to sites of geological interest, where each trip is led by someone with a special knowledge of the locality. They are both informative and enjoyable and have proved to be a highly popular part of the Society's activities.
SUMMER PROGRAMME 2016
Saturday 11 June Tantallon ** Sorry, due to family circumstances
this excursion has been cancelled **
Saturday 25 June Cove, Pease Bay & Siccar Point, East Lothian;
Joint Excursion with the Geological Society of Glasgow
Saturday 23 July St Andrews, Fife
Saturday 20 August Silver Glen, Alva & Mill Glen, Tillicoultry
Saturday/Sunday 3/4 September Holyrood Park ** Sorry, this event
has been cancelled **
Wednesday evening excursions
Wednesday 20 April, 7pm Corstorphine Hill
Wednesday 11 May , 7pm Mills and medicinal wells: a walk through Stockbridge Leader Beverly Bergman, Lothian and Borders Geoconservation
Wednesday 22 June, 7pm South Queensferry Shore
Wednesday 6 July, 7pm Local Geodiversity Sites of East Edinburgh
Saturday 25 June
Siccar Point:The Abyss of Time. We will visit Cove Harbour to view Carboniferous sedimentary rocks, then return to the cliff top to follow the Berwickshire Coastal Path to Pease Bay (lunch stop, view Devonian sedimentary rocks). Continue along the coastal path to Siccar Point, described as the most important geological site in the world, which sits at the eastern end of a superb coastal section including three sets of contrasting sedimentary rocks from three periods: Silurian, Devonian and Carboniferous. The rocks were used by James Hutton to support his world-shaking ideas of geological time and natural processes. We will approach the Point along an easy footpath with good views of the coastal scenery created from these varied rocks, including a sheltered harbour, sandy bays and cliff sections.
Route and Safety: 5 km along coastal path with some steps and steep climbs. You can view Siccar Point safely from the viewpoint, or if conditions permit, descend a steep grassy slope that may be slippery. Siccar Point itself is rocky, potentially slippery underfoot. Participants should only descend to Siccar Point if they are physically fit, properly equipped with walking boots and the conditions are suitable: grass not too wet, not windy.
Transport will be by coach from Waterloo Place at 10.00 am (NOT the usual 9.00 am) with an extra pickup point at Milton Road to Cove. Pickup at the end of the day from Siccar Point Car Park on the entrance road to RK Drysdales Factory TD13 5YS, returning about 6pm after High Tea
Toilets at Pease Bay
Giant Sand Volcanoes at St Andrews
Transport by coach from Waterloo Place at 9:00 am with an extra pickup point at PC World, returning about 6:00 pm. Meet at 10.30 at the bus car park outside the Bruce Embankment car park, St Andrews, beside the British Golf Museum. NO 505 172
The first location is at the base of the cliff beside St Andrews Aquarium NO 507 170 then we will walk South East along the shore and cliff spending the whole day there.
Hard hats required
Toilets are at the Bruce Embankment car park
No dogs permitted
Saturday 20 August
On this excursion we will examine mineral veins in the Ochil Volcanic Formation; deformed Coal Measures; Midland Valley Sill; diorites and hornfelsed rocks; and the West Ochil Fault.
Transport will be by coach from Waterloo Place at 9am with extra pickup points at PC World and the Motorway service station at Stirling, returning about 6pm
Route & safety: 5 km of fairly easy walking on narrow footpaths (single file), slightly steep in places; may be muddy and slippery after heavy rain. Waste heaps contain galena and other minerals need to wash hands before eating lunch. Some steep rock outcrops may be unstable, and care needs to be taken. Old mine workings and old quarry workings. Glen Mill path may be only partially accessible, depending on repair works to path and footbridge: this will be checked in advance and a route up the east side of the glen will be taken if necessary. Old mine adits and shafts are present no entry; disused quarry no entry, view from exterior only. The stream bed will be avoided in case of spate.
Hard hats and high viz clothing are not required but boots or walking shoes with a good grip and hand wipes are essential.
Toilets at the start Alva and at middle and end - Tillicoultry
Saturday/Sunday 3/4 September
This activity will involve seeking out rock exposures and recording them by drawing on a paper map (provided) along with writing observations in a notebook and making structural measurements with a compass-clinometer (the Leader will give some advice about this before the trip but it will involve little or no expense). The mapping will involve quite a lot of walking, sometimes off-trail, so participants should be reasonably mobile with some stamina. A good deal of the first day will involve a tour of the area and guidance on the method but on the second day participants will be able to operate more independently, probably in pairs.
Timings: On Saturday meet at Dynamic Earth Cafeteria at 10 am, finish
Equipment: Participants will need normal field clothing including stout footwear, and should bring a small, robust notebook, a lead pencil, a selection of coloured pencils (at least six distinct colours), a hillwalker's compass (Silva, Suunto or similar, or a geologist's compass clinometer if they have one, otherwise a clear plastic protractor). There are some cheap or free apps for an iPhone or iPad that allow them to be used as a field notebook, such as "Fieldmove", which have a built-in compass-clinometer. They will need a map-board; an ordinary office clipboard will do, but a piece of MDF or marine plywood about A3 size with elastic bands, fold back clips and/or masking tape to fix down the map, and something to protect it from the weather, is better. It's also possible to buy mapping cases from the BGS shop or Geosupplies, which are weatherproof but not cheap.
Wednesday Evening Excursions
Wednesday 20 April
This excursion is a circuit of Corstorphine Hill aiming to examine the disused quarries in Carboniferous sedimentary and igneous rocks, glacial landforms and processes and Neolithic/Bronze Age markings.
Meet at 7pm at the small car park at NT 2022 2457. The walk is 4-5 km on mainly made paths with some off-path excursions involving steep inclines and uneven steps and finishing at the start point at 9pm.
Own transport. Alternatively LRT buses nos 1 or 26 to the top of Drumbrae Drive; 21,32,41 to Queensferry Road/Clermiston Road North junction; 12,31 to Corstorphine Road/Clermiston Road junction and walk over.
Wednesday 11 May
The rocky gorge cut by the Water of Leith between Stockbridge and the Dean Village is one of the few localities in the city of Edinburgh where exposed bedrock can be seen. On this walk, we will see exposures of the Granton Sandstones and Wardie Shales (Gullane Formation), together with quartz dolerite dykes and the site of a poor-quality coal-seam (not currently visible). Two 18th/19th century medicinal wells, a fine example of a Thomas Telford bridge, and the remains of a number of mills originally powered by water-wheels, bear witness to the historical importance of this area.
We meet on the bridge on Deanhaugh Street NT 246 746 at 7pm, returning
Toilets at Hamilton Place 50m from the start at NT 247 746
On this excursion we will examine the shoreline geological features, rocks and structures mainly in the Carboniferous West Lothian Oil-Shale Formation.
We meet at 7pm opposite the Hawes Inn (where the pier joins the B924) NT 136 783. Own transport. From the Hawes Inn we walk East along the track to Long Craig Point, then West along the shoreline exposures into South Queensferry and back to the start finishing about 9pm. The route is about 3km on varied ground. Boots or wellingtons with a good grip are needed - rock surfaces are slippery and some covered with seaweed. Beware of the advancing tide on the shore
Toilets near the pier at the start of the walk.
Higher Geology Field Resource: The South Queensferry Shore
a Teachers Guide online pdf
Wednesday 6 July
In Edinburgh, we are exceptionally fortunate to have an extensive network of Local Geodiversity Sites that Edinburgh City Council has designated and takes in to consideration in the local development plan, as well as some sites of national and international significance such as Huttons Section and Arthurs Seat. Although only one of the sites we will visit, Calton Hill, has rocks that are exposed where they were deposited (in situ), the examples drawn from buildings, monuments and the pavements of Edinburgh showcase the wide range of rock types that can be found in Scotland and the great range of geological time intervals these rocks span.
Meet at 7pm at the steps up to Rock House, Waterloo Place, NT 26083
74111.The 1.5 km walk is on paths and pavements.
Calton Hill leaflet
Stones of Scotland leaflet
Geological Society of Glasgow Excursions
Members are welcome to attend excursions organised by the Geological Society of Glasgow where spaces are available. Further details from their web site. Members are reminded they are eligible to join the Glasgow Society as Associate Members.
For details about excursions in your own area, contact your local geological society.
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