New book: the Changing Outer Hebrides, by Frank Rennie

Members and friends of the Edinburgh Geological Society might be interested in a new book, written by Frank Rennie, about sense of place in the Outer Hebrides. Frank is a member of EGS and has previously lectured to us. He is Professor of Sustainable Rural Development, Assistant Principal (Research, Enterprise, and Development) at the University of The Highlands and Islands.

The Changing Outer Hebrides – Galson and the meaning of Place is a fascinating and intimate account of the inter-relationship between one small island village in the Hebrides and the wider world. From the formation of the bedrock 3 billion years ago, to the predictable near-future, the layers of this unique landscape are explored. The social history of the people is closely interwoven with the natural environment in a journey of deep mapping to consider the meaning of special places. Through the Iron Age and the Clearances to the contemporary events of community land ownership, a portrayal is given that challenges the perception that this is a remote place, isolated at the edge, but instead is crucial to our contemporary relationship with the land.

Published by Acair in 2020, ISBN: 9781789070835.

Mary Anning statue fundraising appeal

Message from Anya Pearson and Evie Swire about the fundraising appeal to raise money for a statue of Mary Anning:

Evie (13 year old fossil mad school girl who started this all when she was 11) and I wondered if you could share our crowdfund page with your members? Or even see if they could help in anyway with a contribution. We only need to raise the final £30,000 of the £100k needed to complete Mary’s statue, along the Jurassic Coast at Lyme Regis, so we need all the people power we can muster. We have the support of the Geologists Association, Sir David Attenborough, Professor Alice Roberts, NHM, and so many more amazing people.

Here is the link to the crowdfund page with a brilliant 3 min film about what we are trying to achieve.

New Shale Trail in West Lothian

The Shale Trail is a new 16 mile way marked trail across West Lothian linking sites, features and communities relating to the area’s rich oil shale heritage. Visit the Shale Trail website for more information including maps of the trail, and an introduction to West Lothian’s rich cultural, historical and scientific heritage.

You can find wonderful stories of Scotland’s Oil Rush on the Shale Trail website or by using the QR codes on each of the waymarker posts. There are also stories compiled by children from West Lothian’s schools, including about the geology of the area. There are links on the marker posts to these too.

Hutton Series on Climate Change at Panmure House

The Hutton Series on Climate Change is a series of events taking place across 2020-21 at Adam Smith’s Panmure House, bringing together a diverse cross-section of experts, business leaders, scientists, and concerned citizens in the service of one simple aim: to identify ten key priorities, innovations & actions to mitigate the climate crisis.

Report from session 1 (Tuesday 6 October) is available here.

The second session is on Tuesday 1 December, 2-4pm: the Response from the Financial Sector. Keynote speakers for this second session are Keith Skeoch, Chairman of Aberdeen Standard Investments Research Institute, and Kirsty Hamilton, former Director of the Low Carbon Finance Group. Each will talk for 5 minutes, before taking questions and participating in a debate panel, led by Professor Heather McGregor (Executive Dean, Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University).

This event will be hosted virtually by Panmure House and simultaneously live-streamed as an interactive webinar via Facebook and the Panmure website. The broadcast will be recorded and readily available on-demand up to 48 hours after the live event.

Find out more and Register

Books and maps from Ian Jackson’s collection

Ian Jackson, a long standing EGS member and a former Publications Sales Officer and Council member, died in the summer. He had an collection of geological books, maps and memoirs. We are sure that Ian would like these to be used by others interested in geology and members who would like books and/or maps are invited to ask for them.

Please visit to browse what is available and for details about how to request items. Donations are requested for EGS funds: EGS Council will discuss the appropriate use of all donations received for example in making additional grants to students in 2021.

EGS Publications

Publications orders: free postage for UK members

EGS PublicationsSince we are not able to gather for lectures this winter, all orders from EGS members in the UK for Excursion Guides and Books from our online shop will be posted for free. Members also benefit from a 20% discount on all purchases.

Head over to the Excursion Guides and Books page to browse the wide selection on offer, from poetry to the geology of the Moine. You may well find a gift for yourself or someone else!

Sorry this offer is only available to EGS members in the UK. Not a member? That is easy to rectify  – Join Us!


New leaflets for the Berwickshire coast

Virtual Festival of Geology – Saturday 7 November 2020

Enjoy the free virtual Festival of Geology from the comfort of your own home. Including a Discovery Room with live workshops, experiments, downloads and the Passport Challenge. Live talks throughout the day. Uncover hidden gems through various stalls and explore the exhibits and festival activities from societies, universities and museums from across the UK.

‘Boring’ geology in Glasgow & EGS’ winter lecture programme

Not quite what it may seem, but BGS’ geologists would appear to be doing some interesting new work beneath Glasgow. We have heard directly about plans for this work as part of our previous lecture programme. This BBC news website article from its science section contains some beautiful images from the cores taken from beneath Glasgow. A link to this article is given here.

BGS’ geologists drilling at UK Geo-energy Observatory in Glasgow

A reminder that this year’s winter lecture programme 2020/21, will contain a talk by the BGS’ Alison Monaghan on ‘Drilling into mines for heat: the UK Geo-energy Observatory in Glasgow’ on 3 February 2021. This will be joint meeting with the Mining Institute of Scotland.

Before then and to kicking-off our winter lecture programme on Wednesday 14th October will be a lecture on ‘The Falklands Plateau: its role in the break-up of Gondwana – and other geological controversies’ to be presented by Dave McCarthy (BGS) . This meeting will be held virtually and more details can be found at our lectures page.

Hopefully these lectures and others over the winter will indicate that the geology beneath Glasgow (and Edinburgh) is far from ‘boring’.