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Contact Details

Northumbrian Earth
The Old Reading Room
NE71 6XE

T: 01668 216066


The Ice Ages at Cocklawburn

From July 26 2017 10:00 am until July 26 2017 1:00 pm
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Wednesday 26th July: Meet at 10:00 at the parking area to the south of Cocklawburn Beach, where the ice cream van usually stands just before the Cockley Burn. The walk will be about 4km and will involve some walking on rocky shoreline which can be slippery when wet. 

Over the last two and a half million years the earth has been in an ice-age, with this area repeatedly invaded by ice sheets as the polar ice caps expanded in the coldest phases of this period. These cycles of global cooling and warming tell us a fascinating story when we ask the question why; a question which places the earth in its context of the galaxy. The rubbish left behind by the ice sheets also tells us useful information about where the ice sheets have been and reveal another fascinating story.

This walk will be used to give the background to these stories and introduce the different rock types which will allow us to carry out an investigation into the glacial tills which are preserved on the beach here.  

The natural cycles of global warming and cooling which all of this informs us about are a necessary prelude to understanding the impact that man is having on the global climate - Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) as it is known. This we will explore too. 

 This walk has been funded by the Peregrini Lindisfarne Landscape Partnership Scheme, participation is free and is part of the Community Geology project.

01668 216066

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Interesting items

  • 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).


  • "Ian Kille is an absolute authority on the geology of Northumberland. His knowledge is unmatched, his presentation is perfect and his enthusiasm is unbridled. Ian has lead a series of walks for us along the Northumberland Coast AONB over the last two years and every walk has been immensely enjoyable, thoroughly entertaining and incredibly educational. He is able to explain complex geological sequences across enormous timescales to young and old alike and has piqued a geological interest in many that has kept the audience coming back for all of his walks."

    Jessica Turner
    Historic and Built Environment Officer
    Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership


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