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.
2020 has not turned out to be the year that any of us expected.
One of the things that thinking in geological timescales does, is to give perspective. The current situation is frustrating, worrying and at times lonely, and has meant chunks of work being postponed to another year. It is temporary though and like the advance and retreat of the ice sheets in our earth’s most recent glaciation, more temperate times will return (and in a much shorter timescale!).
As the process for moving out of out of lockdown starts to happen, planning is taking place for a time when it will be possible to run Northumberland Coast AONB geo-diversity walks again. It is likely it will be a while before they can be run as before but I am putting in place processes to enable safe geodiversity walks once I am assured that it is safe to do so and with the approval of the AONB partnership. Any updates on this will be posted here and in the Northumbrian Earth Newsletter and Facebook and Twitter feeds.
After much work to fully update the book, including a new set of maps and artwork, a new edition of the Northumberland Coast Rocks! has now been published and may be ordered directly from Northumbrian Earth. Just go to the "Shop" page which can be found on the left hand menu bar.
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.