Eddleston Water and Talla catchments of the River Tweed

Hummocky Moraine in the upper reaches of the Talla Water catchment. Photo: Clive Auton

This excursion will explore the role of glaciers, glacial meltwaters and post-glacial slope processes in creating and modifying parts of typical catchments of tributaries of the River Tweed. The Eddleston Water is a major southward flowing tributary and we will visit a typical lowland strath within the middle reaches of the valley, examining some of the evidence for and against the former presence of an ice-dammed lake in the valley floor. The Talla Water valley represents the headwaters of a typical minor upland tributary. The excursion will also visit hummocky moraines, evidence that suggests renewed glaciation during the Loch Lomond Stadial about 11,000 years ago.


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

Excursion title:

Development of the Eddleston Water and Talla catchments during the Quaternary

Date & time:

Saturday 28th July 2018

Finish time:

6pm

Leaders:

Clive Auton (BGS)

Excursion aims and description:

The aims of the excursion will be to examine the role of glaciers, glacial meltwaters and post-glacial slope processes in creating and modifying parts of typical catchments of tributaries of the River Tweed. The Eddleston Water is a major southward flowing tributary and the excursion will visit a typical lowland strath within the middle reaches of the valley. The excursion will examine some of the evidence for and against the former presence of an ice-dammed lake in the valley floor.

The Talla Water valley represents the headwaters of a typical of minor upland tributary of the Tweed. The excursion will visit hummocky moraines (typical of evidence used to suggest renewed glaciation of the parts of the Southern Uplands during the Loch Lomond Stadial at c. 11-10, 000 years BP).

Transport:

coach

Meeting point:

Waterloo Pl.

Coach route:

Waterloo Pl. (09.00)→ Comiston Rd.[waterworks] (09.20) → Scots Pine Café Eddleston (10.00) → Black/White Meldon lunch stop (12.30) →Car park between Talla Linnfoots and Megget Stone (13.45) leave Talla at c 16.00.

Extra pick-up points:

Comiston Rd.[waterworks] (09.20)

First locality:

Scots Pine Café (Cottage Bank) eastern side of A703 c. 0.7 km north of Eddleston Village. Coach to park in café car park

Café: NGR [NT 244 479]

Postcode EH45 8QS

Excursion route:

This is a provisional programme subject to agreeing access and may change.

Scots Pine Café (Coffee stop) walking to small disused sand pit in Portmore Gardens via the disused railway line from Darden Hall Mains then return to café car park

By coach to Shiplaw Burn area, brief stop to look at peat filled kettle holes in ice-contact glaciofluvial gravels.

Return by coach to Eddleston village and via minor road through Hattonknowe, and Wormiston to view major glacial meltwater channel systems cut into glacial sediments and bedrock, before reaching picnic sites (lunch stop) amongst hut circles between Black Meldon and White Meldon.

Join the A 72 and south onto the B 712 to travel southwest past Stobo and Drumelzier to join the A701 towards Tweedsmuir and via minor road east past the Talla reservoir to park the coach at the car parking area at NGR [NT 143 202], across the bridge from the waterfalls c. 1 km SW from Talla Linnfoots. Proceed on foot along the metalled track next to the Talla Water and then across moorland to view the Hummocky Moraines in the upper part of the Talla Water valley. This will take c. 2 hours, before departing by coach at c. 4pm to return to Edinbugh.

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

Eddleston water area, flat farmland tracks, major A road and minor tarmac roads. Distance: Scots Pine Café → gravel pit and return (Maximum 2.2 km Elevation change max. c 20 m.

Shiplaw Burn area quick stop from coach, perhaps 200-300 m walking flat rough pasture

By coach to Lunch Stop; no walking required

Talla car park to upper part of Talla Water valley Total (return trip) c 5 km

Comprising: 1.5 km metalled track c 30 m rise in elevation; moorland peat and hillside c. 3.5 km c. 120 m rise in elevation Total rise in elevation c. 150 m (The moorland peat and hill slope can be very wet and uneven under foot).

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

Weather: may be wet and very windy especially in the Talla catchment area; Rough and Steep Ground (in the Talla area) the Talla catchment site lies between c. 400m and c. 550 m AOD and is surrounded by mountains at c 800 m AOD.

Particular care must be taken in crossing and walking alongside the busy A703, which is the main Edinburgh to Pebbles road.

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

The excursion will try to minimise walking along the A703 by (if possible dropping the party close to the disused quarry from the coach) and then crossing the road to walk southwards to the Scots Pine Café along the former disused railway line (alongside the Eddleston Water) though grassland.

Wet weather clothing (including over trousers) are required to be carried especially for the Talla portion of the excursion.

Stout walking boots or wellingtons are necessary especially for the Talla area.

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed:

Hi-viz jacket or bib required for walking along/crossing A703 and minor roads

May dogs be brought on the excursion?

No

Toilet information:

At Scots Pine Cafe

Geological map sheet:

Print on demand

British Geological Survey. 2011. Eddleston Water Catchment (Scotland) Superficial Geology. 1:25 000 scale. Released April 2011. C A Auton author and complier1:50 000 Scotland Sheet 24 E Peebles Drift Edition

Also Sheet 24 E Solid Edition

One Inch Series Scotland Sheet 16 Moffat Solid & Drift

Also 1: 50 000 Scotalnd Sheet 16 W Bedrock

OS map sheet:

1: 50 000 Sheet 73 Peebles, Galashiels & Selkirk (For Eddleston)

Sheet 72 Upper Clyde Valley; 78 Nithsdale & Annadlae; 79 Hawick and Eskdale (Talla site falls on the adjoining corners of 3 sheets)

1: 25 000 Explorer 337

Peebles & Innerleithen

Explorer 330 Moffat5 & St. Marys Loch

References:

General Geology

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

Scottish Borders Geology – an Excursion Guide (Scottish Academic Press)

References of particular relevance to the areas visited:

Sissons J. 1958. Supposed ice-dammed lakes in Britain with particular reference to the Eddleston valley, southern Scotland. Geografiska Annaler: 159-187.

Sissons JB. 1967. The evolution of Scotland’s scenery. Oliver and Boy: Edinburgh and London.

Scheib, A., Arkley, S., Auton, C., Boon, D., Everest, J., Kuras, O., Pearson, S., Raines, M. and Williams, J. 2008. Multidisciplinary characterisation and modelling a small upland catchment in Scotland. Questiones Geographicae, 27, A/2, 45-62. (Published in March 2010)

Web Pages

http://www.bgs.ac.uk/research/groundwater/catchment/Eddleston/home.html

http://www.bgs.ac.uk/services/3dgeology/modelInfo/eddleston.html

http://www.bgs.ac.uk/research/climatechange/sustainableSoils/talla.html

http://www.bgs.ac.uk/research/climatechange/sustainableSoils/talla_rh.html


Duns

The Whiteadder Water around Preston Bridge traverses the junction between the largely fluviatile Upper Old Red Sandstone and the lagoonal Ballagan Formation. New spore evidence from the TWEED project suggests that the junction in this area is very close to the Devonian – Carboniferous boundary. Basaltic pyroclastic rocks and a lava, which occur at the stratigraphical junction, constitute the most northerly outcrop of the Kelso Lavas. A large sill-like intrusion of very fresh basalt, probably associated with the Kelso Lavas, is exposed 3 km to the SW in Borthwick Quarry, where spectacular columnar jointing, zones of fracturing and mineralization provide clues to the sill geometry, mode of intrusion and age relationships of potential international significance.

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

Excursion title:

Duns

Date & time:

Saturday 14 July, 9am

Finish time:

5 pm Duns
6.15pm Edinburgh

Leader:

David Stephenson, Alison Tymon

Excursion aims and description:

The Whiteadder Water around Preston Bridge traverses the junction between the largely fluviatile Upper Old Red Sandstone and the lagoonal Ballagan Formation. New spore evidence from the TWEED project suggests that the junction in this area is very close to the Devonian – Carboniferous boundary. Basaltic pyroclastic rocks and a lava, which occur at the stratigraphical junction, constitute the most northerly outcrop of the Kelso Lavas. A large sill-like intrusion of very fresh basalt, probably associated with the Kelso Lavas, is exposed 3 km to the SW in Borthwick Quarry, where spectacular columnar jointing, zones of fracturing and mineralization provide clues to the sill geometry, mode of intrusion and age relationships of potential international significance.

Transport:

Coach

Meeting point:

Waterloo Place

Extra pick-up points:

Milton Road

First locality:

Car park on north side of Preston Bridge NT 786 568

Excursion route:

Whiteadder Water, downstream and upstream from Preston Bridge

Borthwick Quarry

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

River-bank paths, flat quarry floor. Total walking 4 km, no height gain. Walking boots, or wellies if preferred

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

Fast-flowing river. Unstable quarry faces.

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

Do not fall into river. Keep away from quarry faces.

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed?

Yes, both – for the quarry

May dogs be brought on the excursion?

Yes

Toilet information:

Grantshouse and Duns

Geological map sheet:

33E & 34

OS map sheet:

67

References:

BGS memoirs 33E and 34 – free downloads from BGS web site

View route map for EGS Excursion on plotaroute.com


Perth City and environs

Kinnoull Hill. Photo: Con Gillen

This joint excursion with the Geological Society of Glasgow will examine Devonian volcanic and sedimentary rocks (including the source of the Stone of Destiny?); and look at a variety of building stones in Perth City. We will visit Kinnoull Hill quarry, the Quarrymill Woodland Park, the River Tay at Scone and Perth city centre.


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

Excursion title:

Perth City and environs – joint trip with the Geological Society of Glasgow

Date & time:

Saturday 30 June 9am

Finish time:

17.00

Leader:

Con Gillen, EGS

Excursion aims and description:

To examine Devonian volcanic and sedimentary rocks (including Stone of Destiny?); and to look at a variety of building stones in Perth City.

Transport:

Coach from Edinburgh Waterloo Place

Meeting point:

Kinnoull Hill quarry (disused), NO 1350 2334.

Coach route:

A90 to Friarton Bridge then A85 to Perth, then to Kinnoull Hill. A93. Return to Perth, park at South St or Canal St car park.

Extra pick-up points:

PC World at South Gyle.

First locality:

Kinnoull Hill quarry (disused), NO 1350 2334. Late Carboniferous quartz dolerite dyke intruded into Devonian lava.

Excursion route:

Kinnoull Hill – Quarrymill – R. Tay at Scone Palace; Perth city (pm)

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

Walk up to Kinnoull Hill (waymarked footpath) 1km, 100m height gain. Quarrymill woodland park, about 1km total, flat walk; Tay at Scone river walk 2.5km total, flat, path; Perth city centre about 2km on pavements from St John’s Kirk to Smeaton Bridge-Queen’s Bridge.

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

Grassy slopes may be slippery if wet.

Town walking may have traffic hazards when crossing roads.

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

Group must remain together; one person with high viz to take up the rear.

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed:

No hard hats; leader and at least one other to have hi-viz for city walk.

May dogs be brought on the excursion?

no

Toilet information:

Perth, at start and finish

Geological map sheet:

48W Perth

OS map sheet:

53 Blairgowrie; & 58 Perth & Kinross

References:

EGS Stirling & Perth Exc. Guide, excursions 15 & 16


Ardross – St Monans

Ardross Castle. Photo: Angus Miller

The superb coastal exposures at St Monans demonstrate variety of Fife’s Carboniferous geology, and include the Ardross Fault which is well known for the number of volcanic necks along its length. We shall look at a section of the fault between St. Monans and Elie, and at the relationships between the necks, the fault, associated folding, and the host Carboniferous sedimentary rocks in the Pathhead Formation of the Strathclyde Group.


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

Excursion title:

Volcanic Vents along the Ardross Fault

Date & time:

2nd June 2018

Finish time:

5.00pm

Leaders:

Rosalind Garton and Richard Batchelor, St. Andrews University

Excursion aims and description:

The Ardross Fault is well known for the number of volcanic necks along its length. We shall look at a section of it between St. Monans and Elie, and at the relationships between the necks, the fault, associated folding, and the host Carboniferous sedimentary rocks in the Pathhead Formation of the Strathclyde Group.

Transport:

Coach

Meeting point:

Bus stop on A917 eastbound side to drop off group. Loo stop in St. Monans then walk to St. Monans Church.

Cars to meet at St. Monans Parish Church car park (NO 522 015). From the A917 coast road turn south into St. Monans. Take the second right into Braehead. Follow this road SW, and at the end cross the wooden bridge into the car park.

Bus to meet group at the end of the excursion at the lay-by opposite Ardross Cottages on the A917 between Elie and St. Monans (NO 508 008).

Coach route:

A90 – Queensferry Crossing

Extra pick-up points:

Blackhall, Barnton and Ferry Toll Park and Ride

First locality:

NO 522 015 St. Monans Parish Church car park

Excursion route:

Coastal path from St. Monans to Ardross

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

Coastal path, shingle and rocky beach. Level. 4 kilometres.

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

Medium risk – slippery rocks

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

Good walking boots with ankle support and good tread, walking poles if preferred.

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed:

Hard hats for cliff section

May dogs be brought on the excursion?

No

Toilet information:

Toilets in St. Monans at the beginning of the excursion, Elie at the end.

Geological map sheet:

41 North Berwick

OS map sheet:

OS Explorer 1:25 000

Sheet 371 St. Andrews and East Fife

References:

Fife & Angus Geology – an Excursion Guide (Pentland Press)

Geology of East Fife. Memoir Geological Survey. Parts of Sheet 41 and 49. 1977


Berwick-upon-Tweed

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

This visit to coastal exposures around the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed will examine good coastal exposures of cyclothems, deposited in river deltas, swamps and shallow sea close to the equator. The strata include coal, fireclay, limestone and sandstone, some containing fossils. We will also examine structural evidence for the Berwick Monocline and associated faults, formed during the Variscan Orogeny. Note: this excursion is repeated from 2017, as part of a weekend visit by Yorkshire Geological Society; EGS members are welcome to attend, but transport from Edinburgh is not provided.


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

Excursion title:

Cyclothems, fossils and the Berwick Monocline

Date & time:

Sunday 17 July 2018, meet 10.15 am in Berwick

Finish time:

3.30 pm in Berwick

Leader:

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.

Transport:

Train from Waverley Station, Edinburgh, at 9.08 arriving Berwick at 9.51. Return train at 16.14 arriving Waverley at 16.56 (times tbc).
Private cars meet at Berwick beach car park NU 002 536 at 10.15.

Meeting point:

Berwick Station at 9.51 to be met by leader to walk to Berwick beach car park NU 002 536 to meet car drivers at 10.15.

First locality:

Berwick beach car park NU 002 536 at 10.15. No charge, but limited spaces. Toilets and ice-cream van.

Excursion route:

Short walk N to Burgess Cove, then walk S towards Berwick pier along cliff path to visit beaches. Follow section of Berwick ramparts to quayside at Berwick old bridge. Footpath along N side of R. Tweed to return to Berwick station. Bring picnic lunch.

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

Total walking distance about 5 km along footpaths and coastal path. Steep steps to Burgess Cove. Rocky shorelines. Minor height gain.

www.plotaroute.com/route/559980

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-day.

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?

Yes

Toilet information:

Public toilets at Berwick beach at the start/end of the excursion, in Berwick and at Berwick station.

Geological mapsheet for reference:

Berwick-upon-Tweed and Norham, Sheets 1 and 2 (England and Wales)

OS mapsheet for reference:

Explorer Sheet 346

References:

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

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

Roper, H. 1997 Origins of the Berwick Monocline: geometrical and geophysical considerations. Scottish Journal of Geology 33, (2), 133-148

View route map for EGS Excursion on plotaroute.com


Pillow Lavas

Leadburn and Noble House

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

Excursion title:

Leadburn and Noble House

Please note for safety reasons this excursion will now not visit Leadburn Quarry but will instead focus on the Noble House quarry.

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. Car sharing from here is encouraged.

First locality:

Noble House Farm NT 184 501. Parking is limited and there will be a charge of £2 for each car.

Excursion route:

Visit a small disused quarry at Noble House, there is a 15/20 minute walk up to the quarry with pillow-lavas and chert beds. 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.

Geology Walk: Vogrie to Crichton Castle

Currie Lee limestone quarries, near Crichton

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

Excursion title:

Midlothian Outdoor Festival 2018

Geology Walk: Vogrie to Crichton Castle

Date & time:

Sunday 5 August 2018, 10 am

Finish time:

2 pm

Leader(s):

Lothian and Borders GeoConservation

Excursion aims and description:

The wooded banks of the River Tyne near Vogrie conceal an interesting industrial history, where both limestone and sandstone have been quarried extensively. Both Crichton Castle and the Kirk are built of local sandstone, deposited by rivers in the Carboniferous Period. Nearby, on the east and west banks of the River Tyne, the North Greens Limestone was worked, in quarries shown as abandoned on the 1892 OS map. The limestone was burnt in nearby limekilns.

This walk is organised by Lothian and Borders GeoConservation as part of Midlothian Outdoor Festival 2018.

Where to meet:

Vogrie House, Vogrie Country Park EH23 4NU. Note this is 5 minutes walk from the car park, which has a £2 parking charge.

Excursion route:

From Vogrie House, descend to the River Tyne and follow it south, via the Currie Lee limestone quarries, to Crichton Castle. Return on the west bank of the river.

Geological map:

Scotland 1:50k Sheet 32E Edinburgh

OS map:

Landranger 66 Edinburgh

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

5.5km on paths and rough river bank; quarries are overgrown and rough underfoot. www.plotaroute.com/route/577852

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

Steep quarry faces and unstable limekilns.

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:

Toilets at Vogrie House at start.

References:

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

https://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.

South Queensferry and Siccar Point

A reminder that there are two EGS excursions this week:

Wednesday 22 June
South Queensferry Shore

Leader Richard Smith, Lothian and Borders Geoconservation
Meet at 7pm opposite the Hawes Inn (where the pier joins the B924) – NT 136 783. Own transport.
Saturday 25 June
Cove, Pease Bay & Siccar Point, East Lothian
Leader Angus Miller, Geowalks
This is the annual Joint Excursion with the Geological Society of Glasgow
Transport will be by coach from Waterloo Place at 10.00 am (NOT the usual 9.00 am) with an extra pickup point at Milton Road to Cove. Pickup at the end of the day from Siccar Point Car Park on the entrance road to RK Drysdales Factory TD13 5YS, returning about 6pm after High Tea.
Further details of these excursions, including information on routes, main features of geological interest, and level of difficulty, can be found on the EGS website athttp://www.edinburghgeolsoc.org/x_home.html .
Please note that you will need to book for these excursions – contact Mel Farquharson on excur…@edinburghgeolsoc.org or by telephone 0131 552 3452.  This is especially important for the Saturday excursion to ensure that there are sufficient places on the coach, and also to pre-order from the menu for High Tea, as confirmed orders are needed asap.