Public vote decides county rock and official fossil of Northumberland
and live on Freeview channel 276
Dolerite, found in the Whin Sill rock flow, beat granite, coal, and sandstone to be voted the rock of the county, and crinoids were named Northumberland’s official fossil.
The Whin Sill is a layer of igneous rock stretching from County Durham to Berwick, making dolerite the literal bedrock of iconic Northumberland locations like Hadrian’s Wall, Bamburgh Castle, and the Farne Islands.
Crinoids are fossilised remnants of an animal called a sea lily, a relative of modern starfish, which lived in warm coral seas 320m years ago when Northumberland was near the equator.
Ian Jackson, geologist and former Northumberland Wildlife Trust trustee, said: “As organisers, we wanted to raise the profile of Northumberland and its rocks.
“These rocks have a lot to tell scientists about things that are happening to landscapes as the world’s climate continues to change.
“I hope people will pull on their boots and go and search these rocks and fossils out for themselves.
“Exploring rocks and fossils means you not only get to travel across the countryside, you get to be a time traveller too.”
Mike Pratt, Northumberland Wildlife Trust chief executive, added: “Rocks and fossils are a great way of engaging people with nature and getting them in the countryside to enjoy and experience the landscape.
“Ultimately we believe that the more people really connect with nature, the more they will act to protect it.”
The vote was a collaboration between Northumberland Wildlife Trust, the Natural History Society of Northumbria, Visit Northumberland, Northumberland and Newcastle Society, and North Eastern Geological Society.