New project: Scotland’s outstanding geoheritage

The Scottish Geodiversity Forum are planning a new project: Revealing the stories in the rocks: raising awareness of Scotland’s outstanding geoheritage that will promote 50 places where the general public can engage with the best of Scotland’s geological heritage. The project will be delivered in partnership with Scotland’s Geoparks and other partner organisations, and is fully funded. We will prepare new material on the the best places to see Scotland’s geoheritage and organise a national geoheritage festival in October 2017.

We are appointing a freelance Project Manager for this project, details below. The deadline for applications for this contract is Monday 9 January 2017.

Geoheritage Project 2017 – Project Manager contract

Saturday 29 October, 10am: Local geoconservation workshop

dscf5898An informal, outdoor workshop exploring a Local Geodiversity Site in Edinburgh, discussing issues around conservation and education, and sharing best practice in recording site details.

We’d appreciate input from participants, particularly experience in monitoring existing Local Geodiversity Sites, and examples of methods and forms used.


10 for 10.30am Gather at Morningside Library, 184-186 Morningside Rd, Edinburgh EH10 4PU.

10.30am Presentation and discussion on Local Geodiversity Sites, the process of recording, designating and monitoring them, and use for education. Led by Angus Miller and Al McGowan, Lothian and Borders GeoConservation.

11.30am Field trip to Hermitage of Braid and Blackford Hill Local Geodiversity Site, including the important historical site of Aggasiz’ Rock.

1pm Finish

Please contact Angus Miller <> if you would like to attend this event. We are grateful for the support of Scottish Natural Heritage in organising this event.

UK-wide Geoconservation Annual Gathering, Edinburgh Friday 28 October 2016

Local geosites for people & conservation

Across the UK there are thousands of Local Geodiversity Sites (LGS), important places that conserve and celebrate local geodiversity. These are places that are often valued and well-used by people, where we can find out about the geological history of our area, and how this influences nature, land use, building style and the ‘sense of place’ that all local communities have.

Local sites across the UK are labelled in different ways and progress towards networks of designated sites is patchy across the country. Some areas have hundreds of sites that are designated, monitored and celebrated by active geoconservation groups, but in other places awareness of the importance of local sites is non-existent.

The UK’s Geoconservation Annual Gathering comes to Edinburgh this October, with a focus on local, practical geoconservation. This is a great opportunity to

  • find out more about the value of local sites;

  • explore case studies including Geodiversity Audits and how Local Authorities in Scotland are designating Local Geodiversity Sites;

  • network with the people and organisations, including local voluntary groups, who are involved in identifying, monitoring and celebrating the value of local sites.

The meeting is organised by the Geological Society of London’s Geoconservation Committee and the Scottish Geodiversity Forum. We hope it will encourage more activity in Scotland and wider involvement of the geological community.

Further information and booking:

Hugh Miller Writing Competition

Competition logoThere’s still time to get writing for the Hugh Miller Writing Competition, organised by the Scottish Geodiversity Forum and partners. Deadline is 18th March. Head over to for all the information you need – it’s free to enter and open to all!

Forum AGM & Workshop Sat 30 January

Our AGM will be at 1.30pm on Saturday 30 January at the Royal George Hotel in Perth, followed by a workshop at 2pm. Lunch is also available from 12.30pm at the hotel. Please book!

salisburycragsWorkshop:  the best places to see Scotland’s geology

Scotland has some of the best geology in the world, and we need to do more to promote it and help make information available for visitors, so that our geological heritage is better appreciated and valued.

This informal workshop will:
1. decide on the criteria for identifying the best places to see Scotland’s geology (including landscapes, geomorphology sites, museums, etc),
2. draw up a provisional list of 50-80 sites with a good geographical spread, that give a good coverage of all the different aspects of Scotland’s geodiversity,
3. write / edit brief descriptions of sites with sources of further information,
4. decide on how these sites should be promoted.

The workshop is free to attend, and is open to members of the Scottish Geodiversity Forum and anyone else who is interested.

Arran GeoFest 18-20 March 2016

We’re organising the Arran GeoFest 18-20 March 2016. Something for everyone: Walks, talks, a sea kayak journey, kids activities. Save the date and get ready for a billion-year journey across the planet!

Further information at

Partners include VisitArran, National Trust of Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, University of Edinburgh, Arran Outdoor Education Centre, Hunterian Museum University of Glasgow and the Geological Society of Glasgow.

Geology & tourism

Wow, that was a hugely successful and energising sharing good practice event yesterday, 70-odd people buzzing with enthusiasm and ideas as to how we can do more to develop understanding of the landscape and enrich the visitor experience.

Big thanks to the many organisations and people involved in making it work so well – Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Tour Guides Assoc (and all the wonderful blue badge guides), Visit Scotland, Geoparks, British Geological Survey, Hermione from Dynamic Earth and all the other individuals who contributed talks and workshops.

Certainly the Forum comes away from the day with a renewed sense of purpose and enthusiasm, which we hope will carry forward to important meetings today with the Scottish Government and the Geoparks ….

And there is definitely a desire to do more, to build on what is already happening and to make sure we bridge the gap between the complicated geological story and the people on the ground who have enthusiasm and talent to tell it. There is much that we can do together!

A world-class visitor attraction – Scotland’s Landscape, fashioned by geology: Wed 25 November 2015

DSCF4877Wednesday 25 November 10am-4pm at Battleby, near Perth.

Scotland’s Geodiversity is a world-class resource and has huge potential to enrich the visitor experience and encourage more visits. This event will explore what’s currently on offer, and how the sector might develop and expand.

This event will encourage partners to get involved in implementing Scotland’s Geodiversity Charter, and highlight the economic benefits of a greater awareness of geodiversity.

Who is it for?
Anyone involved in sharing Scotland’s landscape with visitors, in particular those who deliver tourism services such as: Blue Badge guides; bus and other tour operators; wilderness-ecotourism experience providers; rangers; visitor centre, tourism business and property managers; and those involved in offering outdoor pursuits.

Flyer -A world-class visitor attraction, 25 Nov 2015

Booking form – A world-class visitor attraction, 25 Nov 2015

Testimony of the Rocks: Journeys through Time 20-26 June 2015

There are few things more interesting in geological science than those snatches of human history, or those peculiarities of human condition, which we find associated necessarily often, but usually unexpectedly, with certain formations of rocks.’ Hugh Miller

The Scottish Geodiversity Forum, the Isle of Luing Community Trust and the Friends of Hugh Miller, will mark the launch of the new Atlantic Islands Centre on Luing, by chartering the sailing boat Leader in June 2015. The project, builds on a recent initiative entitled Hugh Miller & The Cruise of the Betsey ( run by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, the Friends of the Hugh Miller and the Scottish Geodiversity Forum in 2014. There’s a short film about the 2014 journey at

The new Atlantic Islands Centre on Luing, celebrates the rich history, geodiversity and biodiversity of the Argyll islands. A major focus is the relationship between people and place, including how the underlying geology of these remarkable islands has shaped people’s lives over the millennia. 

For our journey in 2015, we have recruited an intergenerational and interdisciplinary team of fifteen people (aged 21 -76), to follow the ancient sea routes taken by travelers over the ages around Argyll’s Atlantic Islands. Three places for young Earth scientists are being supported by the Glasgow and Edinburgh Geological Societies. The voyage, which begins from Oban on the 20th June, will take the form of a mobile conference during which participants will have opportunities to broaden and deepen their appreciation of the Argyll islands geodiversity, but also to gain new and probably unexpected perspectives on the geology, landscape and people of this beautiful sea-bound realm.

Ethical Rock Collection Policy

10959295_1574240776150198_475844452133357644_nThe Scottish Geodiversity Forum has published an Ethical Rock Collection policy for Scotland, which highlights that collection of rock samples should be conducted in a way that preserves the aesthetic qualities of rock exposures, does not damage or destroy their geoheritage value for future generations and complies with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, the Scottish Fossil Code, and the Scottish Core Code. This Ethical Rock Collection Policy has the support of all key agencies and university departments within Scotland. This policy is part of our work to promote the value of geodiversity as highlighted by Scotland’s Geodiversity Charter. The new policy is supported by the Rock Damage Scotland facebook page, which seeks to highlight good and bad examples of ethical rock collection and encourage discussion. We hope this policy will play a part in supporting efforts by academic publishers, instigated by the Geological Society of London, to require authors of scientific papers to state that all rock materials have been collected ethically.

The policy is available at

Comments and questions are welcome, and can be directed to Angus Miller,