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


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.



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.

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?


May dogs be brought on the excursion?


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


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