Taking a closer look at geology

Holy Island, the Heugh � Gavin Duthie
Holy Island, the Heugh � Gavin Duthie

FIRE and ice – travelling to the edge of things is the title for the first of five guided geology walks along the north Northumberland Coast this summer.

The walks are all part of the Seaside Rock series of geo-walks organised by the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership and Northumbrian Earth.

The first walk is on Holy Island on Saturday, May 12, it starts at 2pm for a two-hour walk of about 4km. The walk is free and there is no need to book, just turn up.

Ian Kille, from Northumbrian Earth, who will lead the walk, said: “Holy Island is a place of pilgrimage partly because of its remote location, separated by tides from the mainland and next to the sea.

“This walk explores how this liminal landscape formed from the ancient rocks which create the grain of the landscape as well as looking at the elements which have sculpted the rocks to the form the landscape we see today.”

More information about his walk and the others in the series is available at www.ourcoastoursea.org.uk where there is also information about travelling by bus.

Iain Robson, from the AONB Partnership, said: “Once more we are very pleased to offer these exciting opportunities to learn about the amazing geology to be found here on the Northumberland coast. We are also working with Northumbrian Earth to produce a series of self-guided geology trails in the AONB, look out for these in the next couple of weeks.”

There are four other walks in the Seaside Rock series:

Back to the Sea

Beadnell: Saturday, June 9

Meet at the beach exit to the main car park in Beadnell at 2pm for a two-hour walk of about 4km.

Beadnell is unique on the east coast in having a harbour that faces west. Find out the influence that the geology has had on this as well as the relationship between Beadnell’s ancient history and its human heritage.

Ripples, Soft Centres and Tea

Howick to Boulmer: Tuesday, July 10

Meet at the small car park by Sea Houses Farm near Howick (GR NU 257174) at 2pm for a two-hour walk of about 4km.

This beautiful stretch of coastline is marked by sandy bays separated by rocky headlands, and the rocks themselves have some fascinating intricate markings in them.

Giant Plants in a Steamy Bog

South of Spittal: Saturday, August 11

Meet at the southern end of the promenade in Spittal at 2pm for a two-hour walk of about 4km.

Back in the good old days Spittal was as hot and as balmy as a resort by the Indian Ocean with vast rivers and massive swamps filled with giant tree ferns as well as beautiful shallow clear blue tropical seas filled with corals as well as other interesting beasts.

Farenheit 2012?

Bamburgh: Sunday, September 9

Meet by the entrance to the main car park at 2pm for a two-hour walk of about 4km.

This walk looks at the rocks which underlie the Castle and form part of the Whin Sill. Explore the evidence which points to the molten origins of these rocks.