Excursions - General Information

Some general information about the Excursions Programme, including how to book is given below.  If you have any other queries, please contact the Excursions Secretary. Please read and observe the Code of Conduct and Safety Guidelines.

Excursion bookings are taken by the Excursions Secretary, Mel Farquharson, 30 Starbank Road Edinburgh EH5 3BY, 0131 552 3452, email excursions@edinburghgeolsoc.org.

Bookings may be made using the booking form in the Billet, by e-mail or by telephone. Bookings will be acknowledged where time permits. Early booking is advised as places are limited and will be allocated on a 'first come, first served' basis. Any cancellations should be notified promptly to avoid disappointing others who may be on a waiting list.

On booking please give the Excursions Secretary a contact in case of emergency (name of contact, relationship and phone number). Personal details will be disclosed only to the Coordinator accompanying the excursion.

Saturday excursions are usually by private 24-seater coach or minibus, departing from Waterloo Place at 9.00 am prompt. There is another pick-up point on the outskirts of Edinburgh at about 9.15 am (see specific excursion entries in the programme) or arrangement can be made with the Excursion Secretary to meet at the start of the excursion. Return time to Edinburgh is variable, depending on whether high tea is planned etc. Details are given for each excursion. Packed lunches should be taken on all day excursions.

Members pay a standard charge, subsidised by the society, for coach and minibus excursions: adults 12; juniors and under 18s £6. Current society members will be given priority over guests and non-members, although the latter are welcome (there will be an additional charge of 50% on top of the charges mentioned above. Participants will be asked for a partial contribution for a part journey. Members who attend day excursions in their own vehicles will be asked to make a contribution of 5 towards costs.

For all evening excursions participants should make their own way to the meeting point indicated. All start at 7pm and should finish by about 9.30pm. Members should notify the Excursions Secretary of their intention to attend so that appropriate arrangements (such as hand-outs) can be made.

Members are welcome to bring guests, if space allows; regular visitors should consider the benefits of joining the Society. Dogs may only be brought on excursions where this is explicitly stated in the excursion abstract, and they must be kept under control at all times. Unless stated otherwise, excursions are not wheelchair accessible.

Hard hats and hi-viz vests are required for some excursions (see specific excursion entries in the programme). Please read and observe the notes on Safety on Excursions.


It is important to realise that all field work involves a level of personal risk but that awareness of hazards, use of common sense and thought for others can greatly reduce this risk. Every participant on the excursion has a duty of care and attention to all other excursion participants and any other member of the public. A First Aid kit will be carried with the party.

Code of Conduct
1 Fellows and their guests should be aware of potential hazards which may be encountered in the field and familiarise themselves with the Risk Assessment for the excursion circulated with the excursion abstract. For their own and others' safety they should exercise their own duty of care and attention at all times.

2 Take all reasonable precautions to maintain your own safety and not endanger other members of the group, as directed by the Excursion Leader and/or Co-ordinator and in line with the ‘Generic Risk Assessment for EGS Field Trips’

3 Participants should wear clothing and footwear suitable for the excursion. Safety helmets and high-visibility vests may be compulsory on some excursions; where they are required a note must be included in the excursion abstract and those instructions adhered to.

4 All intending participants must consider their own level of physical fitness in relation to the itinerary described for any excursion. The Excursion Leader or Excursion Coordinator will have the right to refuse to allow any person whose health or fitness may give rise to concern to participate in, or to continue in, the excursion. Persons who are considered to be improperly equipped may similarly be refused permission to participate.

5. Instruction on matters relating to the Risk Assessment for the excursion will be re-iterated at the start of the excursion. The instructions of the Excursion Leader and the Excursion Co-ordinator (and/or his/her nominated deputy) should be followed at all times. It is important to stay with the Leader during all of the excursion. Racing ahead or lagging behind causes problems of safety as well as making the Leader's job more difficult.

6 Participants on EGS excursions should SIGN that they have received and accept guidance and information relating to the Risk Assessment, Code of Conduct, and Planned Activity for EACH excursion.

7 Any problems should be notified immediately to the Excursion Leader or the Excursion Co-ordinator. Participants should notify an organiser if they wish to leave the excursion; it is strongly recommended that leaving an excursion is not done alone, particularly in remote or rugged terrain.

8 The trip leader may refuse to accept anyone who is inappropriately dressed for the conditions on the day. Any member of the group who is behaving in a manner likely to jeopardise the safety of the group may be asked to leave by the leader or organiser.

9 Particular care should be taken in the use of geological hammers. The use of safety goggles is recommended and strongly encouraged. Hammering should in any case be kept to a minimum in the interests of both safety and conservation. Fellows guiding principle should be ‘Take Photographs – Leave Footprints’.

10 Obey the Country Code e.g. close gates, leave no litter, do not disturb wildlife or plants.

11 Seek permission before entering private land (pre-arranged where ever possible).

12 If you smoke have consideration for others.

13 Children and dogs must be kept under control by the members responsible for them.

14 Tell the leader or organiser if you decide to leave the trip early.

15 If you have a medical condition such as asthma, angina, diabetes, allergy etc. it may be prudent to inform the organiser discretely at the start of a field trip - unless you attend with someone who knows your circumstances.

1 Keep collecting to a minimum, and only where permitting by the Excursion Leader and/or Co-ordinator.
2 Do not remove in-situ fossils or mineral specimens.
3 Do not leave exposures in an untidy or dangerous condition.
4 Never collect from walls or buildings.
5 Remember – ‘Take Photographs – Leave Footprints’.

Health and Safety at Work & Mines and Quarries Acts
Working quarries, mines, opencast and other industrial sites, whether working or idle on the day of the visit, are subject to the above legislation. These acts require anyone entering such premises should wear hard hats, boots and protective clothing as required. Failure to observe these rules could result in you being prosecuted under these acts. Children under 16 are not usually allowed into working quarries.

>> top of page

Excursion Guides

Some of the following excursion guides and booklets will be used for the excursions.  See Publications for more details. 

  • Fife and Tayside – a landscape fashioned by geology. Browne & McAdam, 2001.
  • Lothian Geology - an Excursion Guide.  McAdam & Clarkson, 1996.
  • Scottish Borders Geology - an Excursion Guide. McAdam, Clarkson & Stone, 1992.
  • Fife & Angus Geology - an Excursion Guide. MacGregor, 1996.
  • Geological Excursions around Glasgow and Girvan. Lawson & Weedon, 1992
  • Edinburgh - a Landscape Fashioned by Geology, 2nd edn.. McAdam, 2003
  • East Lothian and the Borders - a Landscape Fashioned by Geology.  McAdam & Stone, 1997. 
  • Building Stones of Edinburgh.  McMillan, 2000.

>> top of page

[Home] [News] [About] [Lectures] [Excursions] [Publications] [Edinburgh's geology] [GeoConservation] [Links]