City Centre Walk

Castle Rock from Salisbury Crags, Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh

Read the Code of Conduct and Safety Guidelines and book your place …

Excursion title:

A Geological Walk from Lothian Road, around Castle Rock to the Lawnmarket

Date & time:

Wednesday 17 May 2017, 7 pm

Finish time:

9.00 pm

Leader:

Andrew McMillan, Lothian & Borders Geoconservation

Excursion aims and description:

This excursion will offer the opportunity to examine some of the building stones of 17th to 20th century buildings on the walk from Lothian Road to the Lawnmarket. We shall also see the crag of the famous crag-and-tail of the Castle Rock and consider various interpretations of its origin. Contacts between the basaltic plug of the Castle Rock and early Carboniferous sedimentary strata into which it was emplaced will also be seen.

Transport:

many Lothian buses to Lothian Road (Nos. 1,10,11,16, 24, 34, 36, 47)

Start place & time:

In front of the Usher Hall, 7.00pm

Excursion route:

Itinerary: Lothian Road , Cambridge Street, Castle Terrace, Johnston Terrace, Castle Esplanade (via steps of Castle Wynd North), Castlehill, Lawnmarket

Geological map:

1:50k 32E

OS map:

Landranger 1:50k 66

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

Streets and Pavements; several flights of steps (Castle Wynd North) up to the Castle Esplanade from Johnston Terrace, otherwise on the level or on gentle gradients

www.plotaroute.com/route/341227

Specific Hazards:

Crossing busy streets

Control measures required to mitigate against any Hazards referred to above:

Be diligent and look before crossing

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed?

Hi-viz vests desirable; leader will wear his.

May dogs be brought on the excursion?

No

Toilet information:

None on the route of the excursion

References:

Building Stones of Edinburgh, 2nd edition (EGS)

Lothian Geology – an Excursion Guide (EGS) – City of Edinburgh – The Castles chapter by Charles Waterston

Building Stones of Edinburgh’s South Side – Leaflet (Lothian & Borders Geoconservation)

Craigmillar Castle Park

Craigmillar Castle and quarry – Al McGowan


Read the Code of Conduct and Safety Guidelines and book your place …

Excursion title:

Craigmillar Castle Park: Geodiversity and geoheritage in disused quarries in the Kinnesswood Formation.

Date & time:

31 May 2017, 7pm

Finish time:

9pm

Leader:

Al McGowan, Hills of Hame

Excursion aims and description:

Sandstone was extracted from several quarries close to Craigmillar Castle from the 14th century and used for building stone around Edinburgh and beyond. This excursion through Craigmillar Castle Park will visit the remaining quarries and examine exposures of the Kinnesswood Formation rocks, from the early Carboniferous. Sedimentary structures and variation in grain size can be observed, suggesting varying depositional energy of different beds. The quarries were worked only intermittently in the late 19th and 20th centuries, and give good examples of how old quarries are expressed in the landscape after they fall into disuse. A new Lothian and Borders Geoconservation leaflet is planned for this area.

Transport:

Lothian Bus 33 service to Old Dalkeith Road. Numerous buses to Cameron Toll. Innocent Railway and other cycle routes to Craigmillar. Car parking is available.

Start:

Entrance to Craigmillar Castle Park, beside Old Dalkeith Road Community Recycling Centre, Old Dalkeith Road, Craigmillar, Edinburgh EH16 4TB

Excursion route:

From the Old Dalkeith Road we will proceed across Craigmillar Castle Park to the Hawkhill Wood quarry area to examine the 3D exposures there. Return to arc of quarries to north of Craigmillar Castle and then cross into woodland path to examine exposures beside steps.

Proceed down steps to rejoin path on southern edge of Recycling Centre then final locality near the pedestrian entrance to the park from Old Dalkeith Road. Return by paths to start point.

Geological map:

32E

OS map:

Landranger 66 or Explorer 350

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

Metalled and grassy paths and slightly uneven ground beside paths on quarry sites. Approx 2.25 km walk with 44m ascent. https://www.plotaroute.com/route/341166

Specific Hazards:

Road crossing on Craigmillar Castle Road.

Control measures:

Use pedestrian crossing on cycle route.

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed?

No

May dogs be brought on the excursion?

Yes

Toilet information:

Public toilet at Cameron Toll.

References:

– Edinburgh & West Lothian – a landscape fashioned by geology (SNH and BGS)

– Building Stones of Edinburgh, 2nd edition (EGS); Available via: http://earthwise.bgs.ac.uk/index.php/Building_stones_in_Edinburgh_from_the_Kinnesswood_Formation

– Historic Land use: http://hlamap.org.uk/

– Archaeological and built heritage: http://pastmap.org.uk/



Dunmore, Fintry Hills. Photo: Con Gillen

Fintry Hills

Dunmore, Fintry Hills. Photo: Con Gillen

Dunmore, Fintry Hills. Photo: Con Gillen

Read the Code of Conduct and Safety Guidelines and book your place …

Excursion title:

Fintry Hills

Date & time:

Saturday 3 June 2017, 8.30 am

Finish time:

7 pm (after High Tea)

Leader:

Con Gillen, EGS

Excursion aims and description:

The Fintry Hills are part of the Clyde Plateau Volcanic Formation to the south-west of Stirling, and show good examples of varied basaltic igneous rocks that formed close to eruptive centres, in a landscape of craters and cinder cones. As well as the igneous rocks, we shall also be looking at Carboniferous sedimentary rocks of the Clyde Sandstone Formation and the Ballagan beds. Afternoon tea afterwards at Fintry village sports club. See Excursion 10 in the Stirling & Perth Excursion Guide (Browne & Gillen, 2015, published by EGS).

Transport:

Coach

Meeting point:

Waterloo Place 8.30 am (note early start time)

Coach route:

M9 – Stirling – Kippen – Fintry

Extra pick-up points:

PC World

First locality (Grid reference or postcode), parking and description:

10 am at road junction in centre of Fintry village [NS 6162 8672]

Excursion route:

From village head south uphill past quarry entrance. Follow track across stream and into Fintry Wood. Walk to and along Kilewnan Burn. Walk up hill to top of Dunmore, then downhill and across hillside slope towards Fintry quarry.

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

Walk on footpaths, 4km total; hill ascent to 250m; walk along stream section; visit to old quarry. www.plotaroute.com/route/354799.

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

None

Control measures required to mitigate against any Hazards referred to above:

None

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed?

No

May dogs be brought on the excursion?

No

Toilet information:

Toilets available in Fintry at start and finish.

Geological map sheet:

1:50k Sheet 31W Airdrie

OS map sheet:

1:50k sheet 57

References:

Geological Excursion Guide to the Stirling and Perth Area (EGS / NMS, 2015), excursion 10B

View route map for Fintry Geology on plotaroute.com

Heulandite from the National Museums Collection Centre. © National Museums Scotland

National Museums Collection Centre and Wardie Shore

Insect in amber from the National Museums Collection Centre. © National Museums Scotland
Heulandite from the National Museums Collection Centre. © National Museums Scotland

Read the Code of Conduct and Safety Guidelines and book your place …

Tuesday 2 May, 10 am–3 pm
National Museums Scotland: Visit to the National Museums Collection Centre at Granton and Wardie Shore

The National Museums Collection Centre at Granton houses a huge collection of important mineral and fossil samples. The visit to the Collection Centre will allow small groups to explore in detail elements of the Palaeobiology and Earth Systems collections. This will be followed by an afternoon excursion to Wardie Shore, an important historical location for Carboniferous fossil fish. The visit and excursion are being hosted by the Natural Sciences Department of National Museums Scotland.

In the Collection Centre the group will split into two, with both groups spending one hour in both parts of the collection. If you have a particular interest, let us know about it when you book: the Curators will try to organise access to relevant items. Numbers are limited, and advance booking is essential, as names need to be collated in advance. Book your place …

For the afternoon excursion, meet at Wardie Shore at 1pm. The rocks may be slippery, so good footwear is essential. Bring gloves and wipes since the foreshore is not particularly clean. This is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, so no hammers.

Crichton Kirk, Castle and quarries

Currie Lee limestone quarries, near Crichton

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Excursion title:

Crichton Kirk, Castle and quarries

Date & time:

Wednesday 3 May 2017, 7 pm

Finish time:

9 pm

Leader(s):

Mike Browne and Howard Turner, LBGC

Excursion aims and description:

Crichton Castle and Kirk are built of local sandstone, which can still be seen in nearby disused quarries. The sandstone was deposited by rivers in the Carboniferous Period, and contains good examples of cross-bedding. Nearby, on the west bank of the River Tyne, the extensive Currie Lee limestone quarries are in the North Greens Limestone. The quarries are shown as abandoned on the 1892 OS map. The limestone was burnt in nearby limekilns, which are still standing but in dangerous condition.

Transport:

Private car

Start place & time:

Crichton Castle Car Park, off the B6367 south of Pathhead EH37 5XA

First locality:

Crichton Castle NT 380 611

Excursion route:

Visit Crichton Castle quarries, then descend northwards to the Tyne Water, cross it and ascend to the Currie Lee limestone quarries; return and visit Crichton Kirk.

Geological map:

Scotland 1:50k Sheet 32E Edinburgh

OS map:

Landranger 66 Edinburgh

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

4km on paths and rough river bank; quarries are overgrown and rough underfoot. www.plotaroute.com/route/349580

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

Steep quarry faces and unstable limekiln.

Control measures required to mitigate against any Hazards referred to above:

Stay a safe distance back from hazards.

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed?

No

May dogs be brought on the excursion?

No

Toilet information:

None

Excursion aims and description:

Explore the Currie Lee Limestone Quarries along the River Tyne and the sandstone used in building Crichton Kirk and Castle.

References:

Vogrie Circular Walk (2), prepared by Lothian and Borders GeoConservation and Midlothian Ranger Service at Vogrie.

http://www.edinburghgeolsoc.org/downloads/GeologyWalk-Crichton.pdf

Dalmeny Railway Cutting

Dalmeny Railway Cutting

Dalmeny Railway Cutting

Read the Code of Conduct and Safety Guidelines and book your place …

Excursion title:

Dalmeny Railway Cutting

Date & time:

Wednesday 19 April 2017, 7 pm

Finish time:

about 9pm

Leader:

Beverly Bergman and Richard Smith, EGS/LBGC

Excursion aims and description:

The disused railway line between Dalmeny and South Queensferry has cuttings that present good exposures of some of the local geology. The rocks of this area formed early in the Carboniferous Period, and include volcanic rocks and sedimentary layers. We will view some of these layers and explore the relationship between the sedimentary and igneous rocks.

Transport:

Public transport (Stagecoach Bus no. 40/A/B) or private car

Start place & time:

Western corner of B road through Dalmeny village [NT 142 773] @7pm

First locality:

Base of the ramp into the old railway cutting west of Dalmeny [NT 1415 7725]

Excursion route:

Along track in old railway cutting NNW towards South Queensferry, returning along the same route.

Geological map:

Scotland 1:50k Sheet 32W Livingston

OS map:

Landranger 65 Falkirk and Linlithgow

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

Gentle walk along cycle path, about 2-3 km. Rough ground and vegetation if approaching rock cuttings. https://www.plotaroute.com/route/326695

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

Take care when approaching the rock cuttings; trip and thorn hazard among the vegetation, and slipping, or falling rocks

Control measures required to mitigate against any Hazards referred to above:

Appropriate clothing for the weather, it may still be cold or wet in April. Good boots to approach the rock cuttings.

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed?

Not necessary; at participants discretion.

May dogs be brought on the excursion?

Yes

Toilet information:

Dalmeny Railway Station

References:

BGS Scotland sheet 32W Bedrock and Superficial Deposits.

Holyrood Park Mapping Exercise

Holyrood Park, Edinburgh. Photo: Angus Miller

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Excursion title:

Holyrood Park Mapping Exercise

Date & time:

Saturday 30 September, 10 am

Finish time:

4 pm

Leader:

Simon Cuthbert, University of the West of Scotland

Excursion aims and description:

Holyrood Park in Edinburgh offers a superb section through varied geology, including the eroded cone of the Arthur’s Seat volcano, a major dolerite intrusion that forms Salisbury Crags, and exposures of sandstone and other sedimentary rocks formed early in the Carboniferous period. This excursion will introduce the main features of the geology but encourage deeper understanding by learning how to create a geological map of a small area. Participants will learn the basics of making measurements in the field using a compass-clinometer, analysing rock exposures and recording information in a field notebook and paper map.

Equipment: You 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 you 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. You 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.

Transport:

No transport necessary

Meeting point:

Dynamic Earth cafe

First locality, parking and description:

Dynamic Earth cafe, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AS – parking available at Dynamic Earth or in Holyrood Park.

Excursion route:

The route is not fixed in advance, but will involve walking on paths and some sections of rough ground, with some climbing. However the total distance covered will not be more than a few kms with frequent stops.

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

None

Control measures required to mitigate against any Hazards referred to above:

None

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed?

No

May dogs be brought on the excursion?

No

Toilet information:

Toilets at Dynamic Earth and at the Education Centre, Holyrood Park

Geological map sheet:

Scotland Sheet 32E Edinburgh

OS map sheet:

Edinburgh 66

Pillow Lavas

Leadburn and Noble House

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Excursion title:

Leadburn and Noble House

Date & time:

Wednesday 28 June 2017, 7 pm

Finish time:

9 pm

Leader(s):

Professor Brian Upton, University of Edinburgh

Excursion aims and description:

The rocks south of Leadburn are of Ordovician age, and include turbidite sequences formed on the floor of the Iapetus Ocean. These sedimentary rocks are visible in a quarry near Leadburn, and were formed in huge submarine fans which contain evidence of the processes involved and the source of the sediment. In contrast, volcanic activity on the sea floor around 450 million years ago formed pillow lavas with interbedded cherts, that can be observed near Noble House on the A701.

Transport:

Private car

Start place & time:

Penicuik, main public car park (opposite Lidl) @ 7pm

First locality:

On the A703 just south of the Leadburn crossroads [NT 236 544]

Excursion route:

Visit abandoned, overgrown quarry near the Leadburn crossroads (walking distance less than 500m) and then drive 7.5 km SW down the A701 where we visit a small disused quarry (walking distance of about 700m).

Geological map:

Scotland 1:50k sheets 24W Biggar and 24E Peebles

OS map:

Landranger 66 Edinburgh and 73 Peebles, Galashiels and Selkirk

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

Short walks on flat ground.

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

Sheer drops in quarries.

Control measures required to mitigate against any Hazards referred to above:

Be aware, stay with group.

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed?

Hi-viz jackets desirable.

May dogs be brought on the excursion?

No

Toilet information:

None

References:

Reference (For Noble House) Craig, G.Y. and Duff, P. McL. D. eds. The
geology of the Lothians and South East Scotland: An Excursion Guide.
Scottish Academic Press, Edinburgh. Noble House, Lamancha by A. Lamont,
pp 158-166.

Trilobite from the North Esk Inlier, Pentland Hills

North Esk Inlier, Pentland Hills

Trilobite from the North Esk Inlier, Pentland Hills

Trilobite from the North Esk Inlier, Pentland Hills. Photo: Ken Shaw

Read the Code of Conduct and Safety Guidelines and book your place …

Excursion title:

North Esk Inlier, Pentland Hills: North Esk to the Lyne Water – a road less travelled

Date & time:

Saturday 2nd September 2017, 9 am

Finish time:

5 pm at end of public road, Baddinsgill NT126548

Leader:

Ken Shaw, EGS

Excursion aims and description:

The North Esk Inlier is a sequence of sedimentary rocks formed at the edge of the Iapetus Ocean in the Silurian period, ranging from mudstones to conglomerates. We will examine and discuss the depositional environments of these rocks, and how they relate to the fossils within them. There will be opportunity to collect fossils from loose material, accurately described in the field guide as “splendidly preserved as undistorted moulds … succeeding each other through time and directly linked with changing environments”. Other aspects of the local geology and geomorphology will also be highlighted and discussed.

The North Esk and Lyne Water are both Sites of Special Scientific Interest, so we will not allow any hammering of bedrock exposures. There is ample loose material that can be split by hand, so no hammers please.

Transport:

Coach

Meeting point:

09:00 Waterloo Place / 09:45 Carlops car park

Coach route:

Waterloo Place to Hillend to Carlops. Return pick-up from end of public road at Baddinsgill. i.e. different drop-off and collection points.

Extra pick-up points:

Comiston Road and Fairmilehead

First locality:

NT161558 Car park at south end of Carlops village

Excursion route:

Start car park at Carlops. Up roadway past reservoir to foot Deerhope Burn (possible shortcut across field). Up Deerhope Burn, over saddle to top Lynslie Burn. Down Lynslie Burn / Lyne Water to north shore of reservoir, then cross to ‘thieves road’ to Baddinsgill public road end. https://www.plotaroute.com/route/319236

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

Minimum 6.2miles / 900ft height gain. Some on road/track. Most on potentially rough, wet, slippy, and uneven hill track or trackless rough, boggy, heather- and grass-clad ground. Stout walking boots and waterproofs required.

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

Inclement weather, as part of route very exposed. Rough, trackless ground.

Control measures required to mitigate against any Hazards referred to above:

Appropriate clothing. Shortened lower-level route available in case of severe weather. Advise all participants of nature of ground in advance, and seek confirmation that they are fit enough for this excursion.

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed?

No

May dogs be brought on the excursion?

No

Toilet information:

At start in Carlops. After finish in West Linton.

Geological map:

S032W Livingston; small part S024W Biggar

OS map:

1:50,000 sheet 65; 1:25,000 sheet 344

References:

Clarkson, E.N.K. Harper, D.A.T., Taylor, C.M. and Anderson, L.I. (2007) Silurian Fossils of the Pentland Hills. Palaeontological Association Field Guide to Fossils No. 11.
Mitchell, G.H. and Mykura, W. (1962) The Geology of the neighbourhood of Edinburgh, Third Edition. Memoirs of the Geological Survey, Scotland.
Robertson, G. (1986) North Esk Inlier. In McAdam, A.D. and Clarkson, E.N.K. (eds). Lothian geology. An excursion guide. Scottish Academic Press, Edinburgh, pp. 174 – 185.

Barron, H F. (1998). Geology of the Pentland Hills 1:10000 Sheets NT 16 SE (Scald Law), NTIS NW (Baddinsgill) and part of NT15 NE (Carlops);

British Geological Survey Technical Report WA/98/4l

Grant, W. (1951) The Call of the Pentlands, A Land of Glamour and Romance, 2nd edition. Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh.

View route map for EGS Excursion on plotaroute.com

St Baldred's Cradle, East Lothian

St Baldred’s Cradle, East Lothian

St Baldred's Cradle, East Lothian

St Baldred’s Cradle, East Lothian. Photo: Fiona McGibbon

Read the Code of Conduct and Safety Guidelines and book your place …

Excursion title:

St Baldred’s Cradle, East Lothian

Date & time:

Saturday 17 June, 2017, 10 am

Finish time: 5 pm

Leader:

Fiona McGibbon

Excursion aims and description:

This field trip offers excellent exposure in a great coastal setting with views to the islands in the Forth.  We will examine Lower Carboniferous sedimentary rocks that are thought to have been deposited in a lagoonal setting with periodic higher energy deposits overlying. The igneous rocks get top billing however, with a sill, plug, dykes and some ash to examine, all of alkaline composition and some with evidence of phreatomagmatic activity and other textural features. Field relationships are very clear and this trip offers a good opportunity to bring together the regional geological story.

Transport:

Coach

Meeting point:

Waterloo Place 10 am or John Muir Country Park, car park by Tyninghame Links, NT 627 809 at 11 am.

Coach route:

A1 to Dunbar, A198 past Tyninghame, turn off to Tyninghame Links

First locality (Grid reference or postcode), parking and description:

John Muir Country Park, car park by Tyninghame Links, NT 627 809

Excursion route:

We will walk from the car park to the first left turn to take us on to the beach on the west of St Baldred’s Cradle headland, and will proceed further west to the moderate cliff section by Bathan’s Strand (NT 631815). We will then turn to walk east towards the headland, examining rocks in the intertidal zone en route. We will look at the east side of the headland, then go on to the headland itself (NT637814), then drop down to its west side looking at several closely spaced localities there. We will take the path back across the neck of the headland (NT 636810) or, if time allows, we may walk further to pick up the path at (NT633806) which takes us straight back to the car park.

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

The terrain is fairly level for most of the trip, along paths and on the beach and the total distance is about 4 miles. There will be some walking on slippery rocks in the intertidal zone however. There will also be a very small climb on to and down from the headland which is only about 15m high.

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

There is a risk of slipping on wet rocks in the intertidal zone.

Control measures required to mitigate against any Hazards referred to above:

I will warn people that the rocks in the intertidal zone are slippy. I will point out that seaweed covered rocks should not be stepped on and should be avoided. I will look for routes that minimise the need to walk on such surfaces.

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed?

No

May dogs be brought on the excursion?

No

Toilet information:

None

Geological map sheet:

Dunbar 33(E)

OS map sheet:

Landranger 67

References:

Lothian Geology – an Excursion Guide (Edinburgh Geological Society) p.101.

East Lothian and the Borders – a landscape fashioned by geology (SNH & BGS) (for regional context)

View route map for EGS Excursion on plotaroute.com