Excursion Programme 2019

Location map for Excursion Programme 2019

Our bumper Excursion Programme for 2019  allows you to experience the superb range of geology that southern Scotland has to offer.   The programme starts on Wednesday 24 April with a short evening excursion around Corstorphine Hill, and runs right the way through to 20-22 September with the weekend excursion to Stonehaven and Highland Boundary Fault. In between these trips, there will be 16 others Wednesday evening (7-9pm), Saturday (all day) and Introductory excursions for new members (x3). Do try and take this opportunity to learn some field geology from our expert leaders.

Field Excursion to Ardross in Fife by Neil Mackenzie

Visit our website page Excursions to find out more details and how to book them.

 

Bathgate Hills

The excursion will start at Beecraigs Country Park viewing Carboniferous limestone and a dyke. We will then visit Cairnpapple Hill, a Bronze Age burial site and viewpoint, and the Hilderston Silver-Lead mine. At the Knock – part of a quartz dolerite sill – we will view prominent features of the surrounding Bathgate Hills and Midland Valley. At Petershill Reservoir fossiliferous limestones of the Lower Limestone Formation will be examined.

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

Excursion title:

Bathgate Hills

Date & time:

Saturday 31 August 2019 1000

Finish time:

1600-1630

Leaders:

Con Gillen, EGS

Excursion aims and description:

To examine Carboniferous igneous and fossiliferous sedimentary rocks in and around the Bathgate Hills, West Lothian; and to consider the legacy of economic geology in the area.

Transport:

private cars; public transport by bus or train to Bathgate or Linlithgow stations and lifts to/from there. We may reduce the number of cars, as parking is restricted at some localities; volunteer drivers needed.

Meeting point:

Visitor centre, Beecraigs regional park; 10am in car park.

First locality:

Visitor centre car park; toilets and refreshments. Grid reference NT 006 746. Bring packed lunch (snacks can be bought at Visitor Centre cafe if needed, and take-away tea, coffee, etc.)

Excursion route:

1. Beecraigs Visitor Centre parking; – short walk along and across a narrow road, then descend a fairly steep narrow grassy path to old quarries – steep dip; do not enter or hammer anywhere in the vicinity. 2. Beecraigs car park – short walk along and across a narrow road close to a bend by a steep corner – great care is needed; old quarry formerly used as climbing face. 3. Cairnpapple Hill – roadside parking then walk down narrow road for 250m, then into field with footpath (1km). Examine old mine workings and spoil heaps. Care needs to be taken if there are animals grazing. 4. The Knock car park; – easy path to top of rocky knoll; then walk along road to an old quarry, then to a trig point on a nearby hill, followed by a 1km walk to old quarries; walk along a very narrow road with no footpath. Entrances to fields are by gates, easy to climb over or open. 5. Petershill limestone – edges of a drained reservoir; easy walk along a narrow path, then descend to the rocks – may be slippery after rain. (6. East Kirkton quarry Bathgate – optional / possible visit at end, but now heavily overgrown – SSSI – “Lizzie” locality).

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

Short easy walks from vehicles to exposures. Includes finding and walking from and to roadside parking places, laybys (no footpaths). Very little height gain.

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

Most of the exposures are in former quarries, and care must be taken near faces. Excavations must not be entered, and care must be exercised beneath overhangs. Rocks should not be hammered, and only loose material should be examined. Fields may be muddy and grass may be slippery after heavy rain.

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

do not enter old workings

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed:

hi-viz for leader and last person, when walking on roads; hard hats not needed.

May dogs be brought on the excursion?

no

Toilet information:

start and end at visitor centre; also in Bathgate and Linlithgow.

Geological map sheet:

32W Livingston

OS map sheet:

65 Falkirk & West Lothian

References:

Bathgate Hills (in Lothian Geology), free to download from Earthwise BGS website. Geological sketch map and route map will be sent in advance by email to all participants.

Blairskaith

This joint excursion will view the palaeontology and palaeo-environments of the rocks of Blairskaith Quarry, in the upper part of the Lower Limestone Formation of the Lower Carboniferous. The main limestone is the Blackhall Limestone Member, which lies above non-marine deposits of shales and sideritic ironstones of the Campsie Clayband Ironstones. The Neilston Shell Bed, a series of rusty shales, also shows marine influence. In between, unfossiliferous mudstones are thought to represent river muds. Concretions have yielded the river fish Watsonichthys. After a joint high tea the coach will return to Edinburgh about 7pm.

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

Excursion title:

Blairskaith Quarry, East Renfrewshire. Joint with GSG

Date & time:

22nd June, 2019 9am

Finish time:

4pm

Leaders:

Neil Clark, Hunterian Museum/GSG

Excursion aims and description:

To view the paleontology and paleo-environment of the upper part of the Lower Limestone Formation.

Note: There will be a high tea at the Torrance Inn. A menu will be circulated a month or so prior to the excursion.

Transport:

By coach from Waterloo Place 9am

Meeting point:

Parking for bus on Tower Road NS 595 751

Coach route:

M8 to Glasgow (Jnct 15); A803 to Kirkintilloch then A807 to Bardowie

Extra pick-up points:

Glasgow Road

First locality:

Quarry NS 595 752

Excursion route:

All within quarry

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

N/A

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

Slight risk of minor rock fall, uneven ground within quarry

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

Good walking shoes/boots and walking poles if used

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed:

Hard hats required if planning to approach quarry faces

May dogs be brought on the excursion?

Not suitable

Toilet information:

Not sure

Geological map sheet:

1:63,360 Sheet 30 Glasgow

OS map sheet:

1:50,000 Sheet 64 Glasgow

1:25,000 Sheet 342 Milngvie

References:

Glasgow Excursion Guide Excursion 4

Bishop Hill

The Bishop Hill owes its existence to the presence of a Permo-Carboniferous sill, which protects from erosion underlying sedimentary rocks of Devonian and Carboniferous age. We shall walk up the west side of the hill and see the well-exposed base of the sill and its underlying contact aureole, and old workings into the Charlestown Limestones.

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

Excursion title:

Bishop Hill

Date & time:

Saturday 15th June 2019 9am

Finish time:

4.00pm

Leaders:

Rosalind Garton, University of St. Andrews

Excursion aims and description:

The Bishop Hill owes its existence to the presence of a Permo-Carboniferous sill, which protects from erosion underlying sedimentary rocks of Devonian and Carboniferous age. We shall walk up the west side of the hill and see the well-exposed base of the sill and its underlying contact aureole, and old workings into the Charlestown Limestones.

Transport:

Coach or private cars.

Meeting point:

Waterloo Place 9am or Portmoak Church 10.30am.

Coach route:

From Forth Crossing take M90 to Junction 7 and A911 towards Scotlandwell.

Extra pick-up points:

Blackhall, Barnton, Ferry Toll Park and Ride.

First locality:

Portmoak Church NO 183 019. Parking permitted in church car park.

Excursion route:

Ascend Bishop Hill through Kilmagad Wood to base of sill.

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

6 km on footpaths, ascent from 135-460m.

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

Sill cliff. Medium risk.

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

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed:

Hard hats

May dogs be brought on the excursion?

No

Toilet information:

None. Suggest stop en route at Kinross service station.

Geological map sheet:

40 Kinross

OS map sheet:

58 Perth & Alloa

References:

Fife & Angus Geology

 

Dunbar: Barn’s Ness & Oxwellmains Quarry

This is a field trip of two halves. In the morning we examine the SSI Carboniferous cyclothem sequence along the shore by Dunbar from White Sands to Barn’s Ness and the afternoon will be spent in the nearby active quarry in the same strata where we will be the guests of Tarmac Group. An opportunity to develop a 3D perspective on this famous site and contemplate global and astronomical forces that lead to cyclicity in sedimentary sequences.

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

Excursion title:

Dunbar – Barn’s Ness & Oxwellmains Quarry

Date & time:

June 1, 2019 10am

Finish time:

16:00

Leaders:

Fiona McGibbon, Open University + Edinburgh University COL

Excursion aims and description:

This is a field trip of two halves. In the morning we examine the SSI Carboniferous cyclothem sequence along the shore by Dunbar from White Sands to Barn’s Ness and the afternoon will be spent in the nearby active quarry in the same strata where we will be the guests of Tarmac Group. An opportunity to develop a 3D perspective on this famous site and contemplate global and astronomical forces that lead to cyclicity in sedimentary sequences.

Transport:

Private cars. Or arrange pick up at Dunbar station.

Meeting point:

a.m. Meet at White Sands coastal carpark (NT37096772), also known as Catcraig, (height restricted entrance and £2 charge).
We will relocate in convoy after lunch to the Oxwellmains Quarry at the cement works.

First locality:

25m from White Sand’s coastal carpark (NT37096772), on shore.

Excursion route:

a.m.- From White Sands to Barn’s Ness along the shore. Walk back to cars, total distance about 1.5km.

p.m. Drive to cement works at Oxwellmains Quarry for afternoon guided visit.

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

Total distance will be about 1.5km (including return walk). This is a coastal walk, so there is little height gain, although some rough ground is encountered. We will be walking on slippery rocks of the intertidal zone at times and along rough tracks at others.

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

a.m. Tides, slippery rocks of the intertidal zone.

p.m. Working quarry.

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

We will be walking on a rising tide in the morning . Low tide is at 07:43. Please wear stout shoes with ankle support (hiking boots are ideal). Wear suitable outdoor clothing, carry rain and sun protection, bring a rucksack. If you use walking poles, please bring them.

In the afternoon we will be the guests of Tarmac Group in their active quarry and will comply with their safety instructions. It is essential that participants stay with the group in the quarry.

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed:

Hard hats, stout walking boots, hi-viz vests, and safety glasses are all essential PPE for the quarry visit in the afternoon.

May dogs be brought on the excursion?

No, not possible in quarry.

Toilet information:

There are public toilets at the entrance of the White Sand’s coastal car park (our morning meeting point).

Geological map sheet:

33E

OS map sheet:

Landranger 67

References:

Lothian Geology – an Excursion Guide (Edinburgh Geological Society) Catcraig (p.133 – 139). Available on Earthwise.

Lothian and Borders GeoConservation leaflet Geology of Barns Ness, available from the Geoconservation leaflets page (includes accurate travel instructions).

East Lothian and the Borders – A landscape fashioned by geology (SNH/BGS) pdf available at:

https://www.nature.scot/landscape-fashioned-geology-east-lothian-and-borders

Hopetoun Shore – joint excursion with Botanical Society of Scotland

The section of the Firth of Forth shoreline near to Hopetoun House displays a variety of sedimentary layers and igneous boulders. We will explore how the chemical and geological variety influences the types of plants and mosses that grow here.


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

Excursion title: Hopetoun Shore – joint excursion with Botanical Society of Scotland
Date & time: Wednesday 8 May 2019, 7pm Finish time: 9 pm
Leaders: Angus Miller Lothian and Borders GeoConservation and David Chamberlain Botanical Society of Scotland
Excursion aims and description: The section of the Firth of Forth shoreline near to Hopetoun House displays a variety of sedimentary layers and igneous boulders. We will explore how the chemical and geological variety influences the types of plants and mosses that grow here.
Transport: public transport / cars
Meeting point: Car park at Dalmeny Train Station; we will car share to to a small, informal shoreline car park at Society Point, near to the entrance to Hopetoun House NT101 790.
Excursion route: Walking west along the beach towards Abercorn Point; return by same route.
Terrain, walking distance, height gain: Flat, 3km on rocky / sandy beach.
Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards: None – falling tide, no risk of being cut off.
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? Yes
Toilet information: In South Queensferry
Geological map sheet: 31W Livingston
OS map sheet: Explorer 350 Edinburgh
References: LBGC leaflet – Hopetoun Foreshore, available from https://www.edinburghgeolsoc.org/publications/geoconservation-leaflets/

Barron, H F, Browne, M A E, And Finlayson, A. 2005. West Lothian Geodiversity. British Geological Survey Commissioned Report, CR/06/008N8N. Available from  https://www.westlothian.gov.uk/article/6896/Geodiversity-in-West-Lothian


Cockenzie: From the Carboniferous to Johnnie Cope

The excursion will focus on the geodiversity of the Cockenzie Harbour area, including Lower Carboniferous sedimentary rocks. The western harbour wall takes advantage of a massive E-W trending dyke, part of the Permo-Carboniferous quartz-dolerite dyke swarm. In addition, we will use a combination of historic maps and documentary sources to examine the importance of the local hydrological and hydrogeological systems on human activity, including influencing the outcome of the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745.

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

Excursion title:

Cockenzie: From the Carboniferous to Johnnie Cope

Date & time:

21/8/2019 1900

Finish time:

2100

Leaders:

Alistair J. McGowan, BioGeoD

Excursion aims and description:

The excursion will take a wider overview of geodiversity in the small area around Cockenzie Harbour.

On the beach of the harbour itself, we will be able to inspect some of the Lower Carboniferous sedimentary rocks of the Carboniferous Upper Limestone Formation. The western harbour wall, and some smaller sites to the east, take advantage of the massive E-W trending Port-Seton Spittal Dyke. This is an excellent example of a member of the Permo-Carboniferous quartz-microgabbro (dolerite) dyke swarm associated with extensional tectonics in the Midland Valley in the Late Palaeozoic.

In the other part of the excursion, we will use a combination of historic maps and documentary sources to examine the importance of the local hydrological and hydrogeological systems on human activity. The wetlands influenced the outcome of the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745. More recently the closure of the deep coalmines meant that pumping out of water ceased. This allowed the mine galleries to re-flood as the water-table rose again with impacts, including acid mine drainage and the distortion of the main East Coast rail line.

Transport:

It is possible to take the train to Prestonpans and walk or cycle to and from the station, which is about 2 km away.

Car parking is free at a number of locations around the area on West Harbour Road.EH32 0HX

The Lothian Buses 26 service to Seton Sands stops close to West Harbour Road

Meeting point:

Eastern side of Cockenzie Harbour

First locality:

Cockenzie Harbour.

Excursion route:

www.plotaroute.com/route/763982

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

Walk is entirely on paved surfaces. Distance: 1.9 km. Total ascent 60 m.

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

No need for any high-risk road crossings. Tide will be just falling but the rocks in the raised beach section are never covered.

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

N/A

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed:

No

May dogs be brought on the excursion?

Yes

Toilet information:

Public toilets are available at Aldi Store at edge of Prestonpans or Port Seton but not ideal.

Geological map sheet:

Scotland 33W Haddington

OS map sheet:

Landranger 66

References:

General information about Cockenzie

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cockenzie_and_Port_Seton

Overview of geology

Landscape Fashion by Geology:East Lothian, SNH 1997- Free PDF https://www.nature.scot/landscape-fashioned-geology-east-lothian-and-borders

East Lothian Geodiversity Audit: Introduction http://earthwise.bgs.ac.uk/index.php/OR/14/063_East_Lothian%E2%80%99s_geoheritage

Site description by BGS as part of East Lothian Geodiversity audit http://earthwise.bgs.ac.uk/index.php/OR/14/063_Site_assessment_-_ELC_16:_Cockenzie_and_Port_Seton

Groundwater issues

Crouching enemy, hidden ally: the decisive role of groundwater discharge features in two major British battles, Flodden 1513 and Prestonpans 1745 Younger, Paul L. Geological Society, London, Special Publications(2012),362(1):19 http://dx.doi.org/10.1144/SP362.2

Younger, P. L. (2016) A simple, low-cost approach to predicting the hydrogeological consequences of coalfield closure as a basis for best practice in long-term management. International Journal of Coal Geology, 164, pp. 25-34. (doi:10.1016/j.coal.2016.06.002) http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/120112/7/120112.pdf

Binny Craig

Ben Peach described Binny Craig in the 1910 Edinburgh memoir as ‘perhaps the most striking example (of crag and tail) in the whole of the district’ and the summit is an ideal place to view other features of ice sculpting in the central part of the Midland Valley. The sill that forms the craig, and a dyke extending to the east, have for long been regarded as petrographical curiosities. Their field relationships are comparable to late-Carboniferous dykes and sills of quartz-dolerite in the Bathgate Hills and the upper part of the sill is quartz-dolerite, but the main outcrops are of a distinctive pyroxene-feldspar-phyric basalt, albeit with definite tholeiitic characteristics. There is evidence that oil-shales in the country-rock succession have been ‘distilled’ by heat from the intrusions, which have been impregnated by bituminous material.

Excursion title:

Binny Craig

Date & time:

17 July 2019, 19.00

Finish time:

21.30

Leader:

David Stephenson, formerly BGS Edinburgh

Transport:

Private cars

Meeting point:

Oatridge College [NT 047 737] – precise parking location to be advised

First locality:

Oatridge College [NT 047 737] – precise parking location to be advised

Excursion route:

South, west and north to summit of Binny Craig, with possible return north and east to complete a circular route

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

Tracks and rough, rocky slopes

2 km

about 150 m height gain, including ups and downs on the ridge

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

Steep rocky slopes

Inclement weather

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

Be careful

Appropriate clothing and footwear essential

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed?

No

May dogs be brought on the excursion?

I don’t see why not but might need to be on lead in places

Toilet information:

Assume none

Geological map sheet:

32W Livingston

OS map sheet:

65 Falkirk and West Lothian

References:

Lunn, J.W. (1928) The intrusion of Binny Craig. Transactions of the Edinburgh Geological Society, Vol.12, pp 74-79.

Available online to members via the Lyell Collection web site.

Joppa Rocks

This field excursion is an introductory trip, but open to all. The section at Joppa extends from the Upper Limestone Formation, through the Passage Formation and into the Lower Coal Measures (Carboniferous). The excellent exposures allow for study of the sedimentology in a fluvio-deltaic system (sandstones, siltstones, mudstones, ironstones, coals) with marine transgressions (limestones and shales). Evidence for palaeosols is widespread. The sequence dips to the east into the Midlothian syncline with several well-exposed faults with some evidence of syn-sedimentary earthquakes.

https://edinburghgeolsoc.org/downloads/lbgc-leaflet-around-castle-rock.pdf

Excursion title:

Joppa Rocks

Date & time:

Sunday 7 July 2019, 1230

Finish time:

1530 approx

Leaders:

Robert Gatliff, Edinburgh Geological Society

Excursion aims and description:

This field excursion is an introductory trip, but open to all. The section at Joppa extends from the Upper Limestone Formation, through the Passage Formation and into the Lower Coal Measures (Carboniferous). The excellent exposures allow for study of the sedimentology in a fluvio-deltaic system (sandstones, siltstones, mudstones, ironstones, coals) with marine transgressions (limestones and shales). Evidence for palaeosols is widespread. The sequence dips to the east into the Midlothian syncline with several well-exposed faults with some evidence of syn-sedimentary earthquakes.

All participants will be provided with a copy of the Joppa Shore geological leaflet, a small seismic section and a borehole log to help put the section into a regional context and compare outcrop scale information with subsurface data.

There is a pub (the Dalriada) 300 m along the Promenade for post trip refreshment etc

Transport:

No transport will be provided. The meeting point is next to a bus stop (Lothian 26, Lothian East Coast 124). Local train services to Brunstane station (about half a mile from start location). There is ample free roadside parking.

Meeting point:

Joppa Pumping Station at the eastern end of Portobello Beach (Grid Reference 317735)

First locality:

At meeting point.

Excursion route:

About 600 m along the shore and then return on footpath back to start to see overview of the section

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

There is an easy ramp or steps down to the beach. The entire walk along the coast is over rocks, boulders and sand. The rocks and boulders can be slippery if wet. There will be some scrambling but nothing difficult. There are steps up (a few metres) to the road at Eastfield (324735). Easy walk along footpath and grass back to start.

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

Rough scrambling over rocks and boulders

The section is tide-dependent: low tide is in the afternoon

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

Walking boots preferred, although sensible outdoor footwear would be sufficient. The leader will have a basic first aid kit.

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed:

No hard hats or hi-viz clothing necessary.

May dogs be brought on the excursion?

Yes

Toilet information:

No (the Pumping station public conveniences are currently closed).

Geological map sheet:

Edinburgh

OS map sheet:

Edinburgh Landranger 66

References:

Landscape fashioned by geology” booklets. These are available as free pdf downloads online; the series includes:

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

 



Kinghorn to Seafield Tower

To consider the relationship between the Carboniferous volcanics (intrusive and extrusive) and the sedimentary rocks of the Lower Limestone Formation.


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

Excursion title: Kinghorn to Seafield Tower
Date & time: 20th July 2019.  10am in Kinghorn Finish time: 5pm
Leaders: Ian Kearsley, EGS; Steve Livera, EGS
Excursion aims and description: To consider the relationship between the Carboniferous volcanics (intrusive and extrusive) and the sedimentary rocks of the Lower Limestone Formation.
Transport: Private car, bus or train. Train: 9.08am from Edin, 40 mins.  Bus Line 7 from Edin, 1hr 47mins.
Meeting point: Start of Coastal path at play park in Nethergate.  NT 2707 8702
First locality: NT 2746 8731
Excursion route: Coastal section between Kinghorn Caravan Park and Seafield Tower
Terrain, walking distance, height gain: Coastal path and shore  approx 2.5 miles
Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards: Access to shore via short steep slopes that may be slippy if wet.  Walking on boulders and shingle with seaweed in places.
Control measures required to mitigate against any Hazards referred to above: Good walking shoes/boots and walking poles if used.
Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed: No, but care should be taken where minor landslips occur.
May dogs be brought on the excursion? Not suitable.
Toilet information: Toilets at Harbour 10am – 6pm
Geological map sheet: 1:63,360Solid Sheet 40 Kinross
OS map sheet: 1:50,000 Sheet 66
References: Fife and Angus Geology: Kinghorn to Kirkcaldy