The Ladies Skerrs dome, Meadow Haven, Berwick – Alison Tymon

This visit to coastal exposures around the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed will examine a section of sedimentary rocks formed early in the Carboniferous Period. This is a sequence of cyclothems, deposited in river deltas, swamps and shallow sea close to the equator and includes coal, fireclay, limestone and sandstone, some containing fossils. We will examine structural evidence for the Berwick Monocline and associated faults, formed during the Variscan Orogeny.

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

Excursion title:

Cyclothems, fossils and the Berwick Monocline

Date & time:

Saturday 29 July 2017, 9 am

Finish time:

4 pm in Berwick; 5.30 pm in Edinburgh


Alison Tymon, EGS

Excursion aims and description:

To examine the fossils and features of the coals, fireclays, limestones and sandstones of the cyclothems of the Lower Carboniferous Alston Formation and see structural evidence for the Variscan Berwick Monocline and associated faults.


Coach from Edinburgh

Meeting point:

Waterloo Place at 9 am.
Morrison’s coach park, Berwick-upon-Tweed TD15 1UQ (NT 991 546) at 10.30.

Coach route:

From Edinburgh down A1 to Berwick. Morrison’s is at the first roundabout signed Berwick from the A1.

Extra pick-up points:

Milton Road

First locality:

Spittal promenade (NU 009 510) where there is a coach drop-off point and parking for cars.

Excursion route:

Short walk on Spittal beach, then return to coach and cars to drop off group near Berwick railway station for walk along Tweed estuary and round Berwick shoreline, then back to coach in Berwick town centre.

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

Total walking distance about 4 km along footpaths and coastal path. No height gain.

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

Cliff paths, but these are well-used and fenced off in precipitous locations. Cliffs beside beach sections. Low tide mid-afternoon.

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

Warnings of potential dangers on or near cliffs will be given.

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed?

Hard hats advised if participants wish to go close to the cliff faces.

May dogs be brought on the excursion?


Toilet information:

Morrison’s at the start of the walk. Public toilets at Spittal and in Berwick cafes and at Green’s Haven at the final point on the walk.

Geological mapsheet for reference:

Berwick-upon-Tweed and Norham, Sheets 1 and 2 (England and Wales) The relevant section will be included in the handout provided on the day.

OS mapsheet for reference:

Explorer Sheet 346


Northumbrian Rocks and Landscape – a field guide (Yorkshire Geological Society)

Sheills, K.A.G. 1964 The Geological Structure of North-East Northumberland. Trans. Royal Soc. Edin. Vol. LXV, 1962-63