Arran Geology Festival, Friday 18 – Sunday 20 March 2016
Many thanks to all the individuals and organisations that made the 1st Arran Geology Festival such a success. Most events were very well attended and we’ve received very enthusiastic feedback from participants.
There’s nowhere else quite like it – Arran is a great place for geology. Walk in the footsteps of Triassic reptiles or marvel at giant shells that lived at the Equator 300 million years ago. From the ancient remains of the Caledonian mountains in the north to the desert sandstone of the south, Arran has a wide variety of metamorphic and sedimentary rocks that record Scotland’s journey across the planet and the animals that have hitched a ride.
But that’s not all, Arran’s granite hills and the bumpy landscape in the south result from much more recent geological activity, dramatic volcanic eruptions as the Atlantic Ocean opened. This was ‘only’ 60 million years ago, when different types of magma were injected underground and cooled to form tough igneous rocks.
Come and wonder at the tenacity of James Hutton and other early geological pioneers, who studied Arran’s rocks and went away with revolutionary ideas that changed forever how we think about the world.
Discover ancient stories embedded in stone, and consider the long process of change that formed, and is still forming, this special island. Walks, talks, family activities and a sea kayak journey – something for everyone!
Thanks to Calmac for support in publicising the festival.
Get ready for a billion-year journey across the planet! Use the “Details and booking” links below for further information and meeting points.
Booking in advance is recommended. The finish times are estimates and will depend on the weather and the interests of the group. Any changes due to weather or other circumstances will be posted on Facebook and Twitter. Any questions, please contact Angus Miller 0797 997 1310 / 0743 756 1876 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 p.m. Short Walk: Blackwaterfoot to King’s Cave A coastal walk along the raised beach with Angus Miller, Geowalks to explore the varied rocks of south Arran, including the spectacular Drumadoon Point and the sandstone cliffs at the King’s Cave. Details and booking.
2 p.m. Short Walk: Corrie Shore with Colin MacFadyen, Scottish Natural Heritage. Explore the layers of rock along the coast at Corrie, which record evidence of Scotland’s journey across the Equator with rocks formed in sandy deserts, rivers and shallow seas laid out like the pages of a 3D history book. Details and booking.
7.30 p.m. Talk: Volcanoes Dr Kate Saunders, School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh In April 2010, Europe was in chaos when a relatively small volcanic eruption in Iceland closed our airspace for over 7 days. We suddenly found that a volcanic eruption could affect our daily lives. Come and explore our current knowledge of volcanoes and the challenges facing volcanologists monitoring active volcanoes worldwide. At Brodick Castle and Country Park – Countryside Centre. Details and booking.
Saturday 19 March
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Family drop-in activities Explore volcanic eruptions and hunt for fossils with University of Edinburgh geologists & the Rangers. At Brodick Castle and Country Park – Countryside Centre. Details and booking.
10 a.m. Geology by Sea Kayak, Cock of Arran Day-long journey with Neil Smith & Arran Outdoor Education Centre. Cost £40 pp, booking essential. Details and booking.
10 a.m. Short Walk: North Newton Shore & Hutton’s Unconformity with Colin MacFadyen, SNH. Walk in the footsteps of famous Scottish geologist James Hutton and visit a site that led to the laying of the founding principles of geological science. Details and booking.
10 a.m. Day Walk: North Glen Sannox Explore the contact between the northern granite and older rocks formed in the great Caledonian mountain range with Simon Cuthbert, Geological Society of Glasgow. Details and booking.
11 a.m. Short Walk: Kildonan Shore Walk with Rachel Wignall, SNH to discover rocks that show Scotland was once a desert close to the Equator. Details and booking.
2 p.m. Short Walk: Sliddery Trackways Neil Clark from the Hunterian Museum will guide you to some impressive reptile tracks from the Triassic Period. Details and booking.
2 p.m. Short Walk: Corrie Shore with Colin MacFadyen, SNH. Explore the layers of rock along the coast at Corrie, which record evidence of Scotland’s journey across the Equator with rocks formed in sandy deserts, rivers and shallow seas laid out like the pages of a 3D history book. Details and booking.
7:30 p.m. Talk: Beast of Blackwaterfoot (Chirotherium) and Scottish dinosaurs Dr Neil Clark, the Hunterian Museum In recent years geologists have made some amazing discoveries on Skye and Arran that show a range of reptiles lived in the west of Scotland during the Triassic and Jurassic Periods. Details and booking.
10 a.m. Short Walk: North Newton Shore & Hutton’s Unconformity with Rachel Wignall, SNH. Walk in the footsteps of famous Scottish geologist James Hutton and visit a site that led to the laying of the founding principles of geological science. Details and booking.
12 noon Family Explore, Kildonan shore Meet on the beach to search for footprints of the great beast Chirotherium that walked here 200 million years ago, and find the stretch-mark evidence of what happened next in Scotland’s geological journey. Details and booking.