by Alison and Barry Tymon
The rolling hills of the Scottish Borders region stretch from the Berwickshire coast westwards to Dumfries and Galloway, in the north to the Pentland Hills and Edinburgh, with the southern boundary following the border with England. Most of the region is drained in an easterly direction by the 150 km River Tweed and its tributaries.
The solid geology is dominated by Lower Palaeozoic greywackes which form the upland areas to the north and west, such as the Lammermuir Hills, Moorfoot Hills and Ettrick Forest. Eastwards, in the lower Tweed valley, Devonian and Carboniferous sandstones and mudstones are interrupted by volcanic lavas, plugs and intrusions, such as the Eildon Hills, near Melrose. Upland landscapes are influenced by glacial erosion whereas the valleys contain thick sequences of glacial and alluvial deposits.
Though Scotland has been surveyed over several decades for Local Geodiversity Sites (LGS), the Scottish Borders has been a relatively neglected region until recently. There are 28 geological Sites of Special Scientific Interest in the region, which include internationally significant sites such as Siccar Point on the Berwickshire coast and important fossil sites along the Whiteadder Water and the River Tweed. However, the region has many other interesting rock types and landscapes, so further surveying has been undertaken by two enthusiasts over the last three years. Read more