Author: SGT Web

The Sea-Level Story – new resource from Open.Ed

sealevelchangeOpen.Ed have published a new online resource for teachers, exploring how and why sea levels have varied over the last tens of thousands of years, and the effects this had both at the time and today. The resource was designed, developed and produced by Roseanne Smith as part of the GeoScience Outreach course at the University of Edinburgh. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike licence 4.0.

The resource is aimed at Scottish CfE Third and Fourth level as a part of the Broad General Education, and can be used as part of Geography teaching. It has strong applications in glaciation work, geology work, and as an illustration when discussing the potential impacts of global warming.

Download from

Edinburgh International Festival does geology – deep time!

deeptimeThe Edinburgh International Festival 2016 opens with an epic, outdoor, public artwork, bringing together spectacular animation, lighting and music, and delving deep into 350 million years of Edinburgh’s history and the story of James Hutton, the father of modern geology.

Find out more about the event at: and this blog post.

And if this inspires you to go and explore more of the story of Edinburgh’s geology and James Hutton …

Curious Edinburgh – Creating a mobile tour of Edinburgh’s history of science, technology and medicine.
Geowalks – guided tours of Holyrood Park and Siccar Point.

Discovering Edinburgh’s Volcano leaflet from the Edinburgh Geological Society.


Vandalism of the Witch Craig Wall, West Lothian

Lothian and Borders GeoConservation are sad to report vandalism of the Witch Craig geological wall in the Bathgate Hills in West Lothian. The top part of this beautiful sculpture has been destroyed, and damage was also caused to a nearby historical refuge stone.


Damage to the Witch Craig Wall, Linlithgow
Witch Craig Wall, Bathgate Hills (photo courtesy Andrew McMillan)

The wall was constructed in 2003 and illustrates the geological variety of central Scotland, with 43 different stones from places that can be seen from this view point. Its national importance is illustrated by the used of the wall as a case study to support the development of Scotland’s Geodiversity Charter.

Lothian and Borders GeoConservation are now planning to rebuild the wall, and it is hoped the work can be completed quickly to minimise the risk of further damage.

Scottish geology on YouTube

Check out a couple of videos on Scottish geological sites that have been produced by the British Geological Survey, which can now be viewed on the BGS YouTube channel.
mqdefault2During recent work assessing potential sites for a geological trail with the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership, I produced a film of my exploration of hard-to-access rock exposures in the Lower Nethan Gorge ( , also available on the CAVLP YouTube site). Some further information about the project to develop the trail can be found in blogs on the CAVLP and BGS webpages ( /
mqdefaultBGS has also recently developed a film for Siccar Point using aerial footage – follow the link below. We have plans for more films for key sites of Scottish geology.
Hope you enjoy them!
Best wishes,
Katie Whitbread
British Geological Survey


Petition about the state of Fossil Grove, Glasgow

fossilgroveThe Fossil Grove in Victoria Park, Glasgow, contains the fossilised stumps of eleven extinct Lepidodendron trees. These are the remains of an ancient forest, around 330 million years old, and the site is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest, (SSSI).

The fossils were discovered in 1887, and were a popular tourist attraction in Glasgow. It was even mentioned in National Geographic’s places to visit 2016!

However, the future is not rosy and bright for Fossil Grove. They may have survived for 330 million years but they wont be around for too much longer if some action isn’t taken soon to preserve the site. As mentioned, the site is an SSSI, which puts a statutory duty of care on the owners of a particular site. The present owners of the site are Glasgow Council’s Land and Environmental Services, although up until the formation of Glasgow Life the building housing the fossils was part of Museum Services.

SNH have a duty to carry out regular assessments of the SSSI’s. In their 2008 assessment, the condition of Fossil Grove was notified as ‘Favourable, maintained’, although the report notes that issues of water ingress and humidity that were mentioned in the previous assessment in 2000 had not been resolved. The most recent SNH report on the site, in December 2015, downgraded the site to ‘Unfavourable and declining’. A petition has been created to appeal to Glasgow City Council to take action to prevent the continued degradation of this site and preserve this Site of Special Scientific Interest and historical and cultural importance to Glasgow and beyond.

If you are a resident of Glasgow, please consider supporting this petition to save the Fossil Grove. It takes about 60 seconds or less to complete.

Friends of Hugh Miller public meeting, Sat 14th May, Cromarty

Lara ReidThe public meeting begins with the Prize-winning Ceremony for the Hugh Miller Writing Competition, 2pm Saturday 14 May, followed by talk: “WHY MILLER STILL MATTERS” by science writer Lara Reid.

Lara will present her own “take” on Miller’s value to us today and beyond, based on her own reading and  recent discoveries in the field.

The meeting is open and welcome to all members of the public free of charge. Refreshments will be provided. Donations welcome.

Further details:

Arran GeoFest 18-20 March

Lots of bookings are coming in for the varied events in the Arran Geology Festival, 18-20 March. Are you coming? We expect most events to have spaces on the day so that you can just turn up and take part, but numbers are limited for some events … so book now!

It could be you - geology by sea kayak
It could be you – geology by sea kayak, Saturday 19 March

GeoBus Field Camp, June 2016

GeoBus are running a 4 day Geology Field Camp, 28 June to 1 July, for school pupils looking to further their knowledge of earth science and who wish to take part in a more focused, comprehensive training opportunity.

geobusThe GeoBus Field Camp is an excellent opportunity for pupils to gain new field skills, expand their geology knowledge, meet new people and have a taster of university life. Field work will be conducted at a range of localities to provide a diversity of rock types, and different structural settings and geological histories.
This amazing opportunity will cost £100 per participant and includes accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner, field equipment, and training from lecturers at the University of St Andrews. Participants must be 16 years or over and have a keen interest in Geology.

To book a place, please visit our online shop.