Wooler is one of the most exciting locations from which to explore geological concepts and practice from Key Stage 1 through to university study and beyond.
Sitting on the boundary between the volcanic rocks that underlie the Cheviot Hills and the fascinating sequence of Carboniferous rocks which stretch along the coast in Northumberland, Wooler provides the perfect access to a natural laboratory of rocks. From a basic understanding of rock types, through to the complex structural controls within which this landscape developed, there are an exciting range of geological topics to explore for geologists of all abilities.
We find no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end.
James Hutton, one of the founding fathers of geology whose observations at Siccar Point (within easy travelling distance from Wooler) led to the understanding of deep geological time.
As Professor Harold Reading, the renowned sedimentologist, explained to his undergraduates; a geologist is only as good as the number of rocks s/he has seen. In the Cheviot it is possible to explore the suite of rocks that make up both the plutonic and volcanic elements within the stub of an ancient volcanic complex formed in the aftermath of continental collision. The sequence of Carboniferous sediments, which developed in the troughs structurally controlled by the volcanic edifice, offer a fascinating range of marine and fluviatile sediments containing a wide range of fossils at a time when the land had only just been colonised by tetrapods. There is also easy access to Silurian and Devonian rock which speak eloquently of the first union of England and Scotland in the Caledonian orogeny.
Information and images with thanks to Dr Ian Kille of Northumbrian Earth.