Walk with an expert...

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.

Geo-events for 2022

Mine Walk

It is a pleasure to annonce that for the first time since 2019 there will be a full schedule of geo-diversity walks along the Northumberland Coast AONB this year. I will be returning once more to all the best locations on the coast with new information, some new discoveries and a great deal of enthusiasm for being able to be out and running these walks once more.

I have decided to make these walks bookable to ensure that the number of people attending is manageable so that I can make it as good an experience as I can for everyone. There will be many fabulous rocks and fossils to find all in the glorious land and seascape of the AONB. You canfind all teh details of these walks in the geowalk section.  

The Hadrian's Wall Community Archaeology Project (WallCAP) continues to run but is now in a phase of analysis and writing. There will be some events escpecially around the Hadrian's Wall 1900 celebrations. These will be posted here in due course and you can find out more about what is happening on Hadrian's Wall by going to the WallCAP website

The new, fully updated edition of the Northumberland Coast Rocks! including a new set of maps and artwork, is still available. To order a copy just email me and payment can be sorted either by bank transfer or by cheque. 

Ambling with Amphibians!

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.

Volcanoes and molten underground rock

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.

Deep time on an active planet

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.

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Interesting items

  • In Praise of Pentagonal

    In Praise of Pentagonal

    A sharp eyed walk along the beach at Cocklawburn or on Lindisfarne and with a bit of luck you may find a small disc, shaped like a tiny petrified polo mint.

  • Where has Hadrian’s Wall Gone?

    Where has Hadrian’s Wall Gone?

    Before I answer that question, here is a little bit of background information from a manuscript fragment recently discovered in an obscure roman outpost at Ecclesia Novum-Oppidum near to the Fluvium Collegium (surprisingly close to where I live!) and published in the journal Falsus Nuntium. 

  • Northumberland Coast Rocks!

    Northumberland Coast Rocks!

    This project, which was completed during 2015 organised by the Howick Heritage Group and supported with HLF funding, delivered a book, some educational work with a local first and middle school and a series of walks and talks. In this section of geo-diversity resources you can have a look at the presentation given for the walks and talks as well as much of the material which was used in the educational work including lesson plans, activities and exercises.  There is also a handy guide to fossils to be found on the beach at Seahouses (and elsewhere on the coast).

Testimonials

  • "Really thought provoking day with Ian Kille, head full of whin sill and sediment, what a great Christmas present from Northumbrian Earth."

    Paul Kenny
    Artist

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