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Geologist digs deep for Northumberland’s story

Other posts by  |  Sheelagh Caygill on Google+ |  September 15, 2011 | 0 Comments
Ian Kille (in the red jacket) giving a talk on the Northumberland coast

Ian Kille (in the red jacket) giving a talk on the Northumberland coast

What’s in a landscape so beautiful as that of the Northumberland and the Borders‘ coast?

To geologist Dr Ian Kille, it provides a treasure trove of stories as rich as the coast is varied.

You can hear some of these stories very soon on a walk with the Friends of Paxton House at 1pm on October 1. And on Wednesday, October 12, Ian will give a talk to the Berwick Wildlife Group at 7.30pm in the United Reform Church, Spittal.

Ian has been leading Seaside Rock Festival walks for the Northumberland Coast AONB for three years now. Through this, and work with the local community, he has developed a reputation for interpretative skills.

He recently established Northumbrian Earth, a business with the aim of bringing to life the stories which the landscape and its underlying geology have to tell, both for the local community and for visitors.

So what of these stories? Fragments of fossils, petrified ripple marks and many other bits of evidence which can be seen, open the window onto an ancient and extraordinarily different ancient landscape. More than 300m years ago these rocks were laid down in a tropical environment populated by giant tree ferns, amphibians and dragonflies next to clear seas with corals and sea lilies.

The rocks also tell of molten magma flowing between the layers of rock underground to form the Whin Sill. In the Cheviots they speak of a massive volcano and its reservoir of liquid rock.

But it is not just the stories of an ancient world that fascinate: the geology connects to many other things. By knowing the rocks we

A spirifer fossil identified on one of Ian's talks

A spirifer fossil identified on one of Ian's talks

can understand the landscape in more depth. The bio-diversity of the countryside is also fundamentally connected to its geology. The character of our beautiful towns and villages are made of its geology and the raw materials available from the earth control the industry and agriculture of the area.

In Ian’s walks he explores the stories of ancient Northumberland and touches on topics as diverse as socio-anthropology, contemporary art and the age of the earth measured in kippers. Who says science isn’t interesting!

And what’s more, the walks give participants an excuse to be out in the some of the most beautiful countryside in Europe.

Ian is available for private bookings and will be running a schedule of walks from Spring 2012.

For more information contact Ian on 01289 309503 or visit the Northumbrian Earth website at

The Northumberland coast is one of the top attractions for Northumberland visitors and people who take Northumberland cottage holidays.

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