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Have you ever wondered what has shaped the landscape here ? Northumberland and the Borders have a treasure chest of rocks telling so many different stories in a landscape of extraordinary beauty. Northumbrian Earth has been set up to explore and tell these stories, to the local communities, to visitors and to businesses. You can explore these stories, walking out into our beautiful coast and countryside, and looking at the rocks in the company of Dr Ian Kille, an expert and enthusiast on all things geological.
The rocks in Northumberland and the Borders are ancient. They are as rich in interest as those of the Dorset coast but much older and speak of a time when amphibians and giant insects were the height of evolution. By looking at the cycles of rock on the coast we can build a picture of seas filled with corals, sea lilies and brachiopods and vast deltas including swamps crowded with giant tree ferns. Come and join one of Ian's regular walks and start exploring this ancient world.
Bamburgh Castle and Lindisfarne Castle sit on top of black crags which are all part of the Whin Sill. Along the beautiful exposures of this unique feature on the coast we can look at how this vast slug of molten rock was injected between the sheaves of sedimentary rock. Away from the coast the grand range that is the Cheviot marks the bare roots of an ancient volcano.
Geology gives a wonderfull perspective on things. It was a local rock hero James Hutton who used the rocks at Siccar Point to show the enormity of time required to allow geological processes to build the sequences of rocks we see. In this 4.5 billion year history we find the evidence to show how the amazing fluidity of the earth's mechanism works. We can discover how this mechanism allows continents to track inexorably across the globe, colliding and reforming with all the consequent volcanoes and earthquakes, folding and faulting, melting and squeezing. Starting from the rocks beneath our feet in Northumberland and the Borders we can explore the evidence.
Last year I took a walk out onto the vast area of sand behind the Snook on Lindisfarne as part of the work for the Lindisfarne Peregrini project. The day was very windy and it was exciting to be out on the sands. This video gives some idea what it was like - the auto focus on the camera was completely confused by the blowing sand which makes it rather strange to watch but this still gives a good idea of the amount of sand being blown around. Having seen this, it is easy to understand how important an agent wind is in moving sediment around and how the marram grass in the dunes can trap the sand to create the spectacular dune landscape on Lindisfarne.