The Summer Programme for 2020 is an on-going project.

Information below is 'Planning so far' and will be updated as further details become available.

Any offers to lead field trips, or other suggestions, would be welcome - please use the 'Contact Us' button. 

Before coming on one of our trips please read the Fieldwork Code

Summer 2020

So far, we have dates and approximate destinations - further details will be added as soon as they are available.

 April 18th                North Northumberland

 May 16th                 Millfield area, Wooler

 June 6th                  Teesdale

 July 11                     Carter Bar volcanics

 August 23               Whin Sill sites

 September12th    Weardale

Change of plan: 

As from March 16th ALL ACTIVITIES ARE SUSPENDED OR CANCELLED due to rapidly-changing government restrictions following the COVID-19 outbreak.

Date:   April 18th 2020.

  North Northumberland     

Awaiting further information . . . Postponed indefinitely


Date:         16th May 2020.                               

Postponed indefinitely
Title:  The Geology of the Milfield Plain, Wooler
Leader:  Derek Teasdale
Time:  10.30 a.m. to ca. 3.30 p.m.

Morning meeting point:  Maelmin Heritage Trail Car Park [OS Grid Ref:
NT939336].  Directions:  The meeting point is ca. 0.5 km SE of
Milfield village, just off the A697 from Wooler.  There is ample free
parking.  The nearest toilets are at the Maelmin Café in Milfield
Afternoon meeting point:  The top of Brewery Road Bank, Wooler [OS
Grid Ref: NU006276].  Directions:  Travelling south on the A697
through Wooler, cross the Wooler Water, and immediately turn left onto
Brewery Road.  Follow Brewery Road up a steep single-track bank.
There are three small car parks, which should accommodate nine cars.
The nearest toilets and shops are in Wooler (where lunch will be
Accessibility / safety issues:  Walking will be across fields or
heather moorland and on the flat, or gentle slopes.  Please bring
appropriate clothing, including wet weather gear and sturdy boots.

The Milfield Plain is a wide flat area lying between the
fault-bounded, volcanic Cheviot Hills to the south and the Fell
Sandstone escarpment to the east.  A lake was impounded in the vale by
ice occupying the Tweed towards the end of the last Devensian
glaciation.  A large delta grew into the lake from the west, composed
of sand and gravel sourced from the Tweed ice stream.  Eventually the
lake drained, possibly catastrophically, to the north , through the
Etal Gorge.  The mixture of wetlands near freely-drained low hills was
extremely attractive to Mesolithic and Neolithic groups, who have left
a remarkable archaeological record of settlements and religious sites
(including henges and cup-and-ring marked stones).  This is a joint
meeting between the Natural History Society of Northumbria and the
North Eastern Geological Society.


Date:         6th June  2020


Postponed indefinitely



Leader: Lesley Collins


Aim:  To investigate the Closehouse-Lunedale Fault system and the unique mineralisation of the Whin Dykes at Closehouse


Meet:  10.15 am at Wemmergill Estate track gate on B6276 road, Grid Ref NY873212, c. 6 miles S of Middleton-in-Teesdale on the right hand side, c. 7 miles north of Brough-under-Stainmore on the left hand side,

Duration:          10.30 am to 4 pm.  Total walk length c. 3 miles.


The Route:       From the meeting point we will drive up the private Wemmergill road to the large hardstanding parking area at the mine, Grid ref square NY 85 22.

In the morning, we will view the unique setting of the main orebody at Closehouse Mine.  


After an early lunch, we will walk up the estate track via the Eastern Hushes to Standards Shap to see the dramatic landscape along the fault zone. 

There will also be an opportunity to view the Great Limestone, at the base of the Namurian, at a small disused quarry on the estate road.

Equipment:       Toilets, Café’s, Coop store in Middleton, Toilets & shop with hot drinks machine in Brough


At Closehouse, no facilities on site, so bring drinks, packed lunches, etc and be prepared for all weathers on this exposed moorland site.  Stout walking footwear and waterproofs essential.


Hardhats recommended for those wishing to view the rock faces & dumps close up.


Note:   Wemmergill Estate is a large shooting estate.  We have been asked to avoid disturbing ground nesting birds so access is restricted to the private road, the area immediately around the mine workings and gamekeeper’s access track to Standards Shap.


                        Due to the above, no dogs are permitted.         


Maps:           OS 1:25 000 OL 19 Howgill Fells & Upper Eden Valley

 BGS1:25 000 Classical Area Sheet NY82, Middleton-in-Teesdale


Geology:      Close House Mine is a disused extensive opencast & adit mine situated within the Lunedale Fault System, a major geological structure which defines the southern limit of the Alston Block.


The faults have been intruded by 2 dykes off the Whin Sill and have been partly replaced by the mineral barite (Ba-sulphate).  The large barite orebody exposed at the mine displays the structural complexity of this zone and the relationship of the mineralisation to the stratigraphy and structure.



BGS Geology of the North Pennine Orefield, Vol 1, KC Dunham

BGS Geology of the country around Brough-under-Stainmore, Memoir for Sheets 31, 25 & 30 (parts)

The Barytes Deposits at Closehouse, Lunedale, Hill & Dunham, Proc YGS, Vol36, Pt3, 1968


Further Details:  Lesley Collins, email

                                 Mobile number 07946 358444
            (mobile reception is available at Closehouse, but patchy)



If you are planning on attending the trip, please let me know by the morning of Thursday 4 June, in order to inform the Estate Office of likely numbers.

Date:              11th July 2020

Carter Bar Volcanics

Leader: L Golightley

Postponed indefinitely

START: 10.30


1.The start point for this trip is Southdean Law, on the A6088, turning to the West just over Carter Bar.

2.The second location is Nether Hindhope, a farmstead, as close to Gaisty Burn/Gaisty Law as can be driven; grid ref NT 765 105



Southdean Law, near Chesters and Gaisty Law/Gaisty Burn, are two differing volcanic remnants. 

Southdean Law is a Nepheline Basanite plug, with interesting jointing in two planes.

The Gaisty Burn and Gaisty Law are on the south-west side of the Cheviot intrusion. The volcanic rocks here are of early Devonian age and are the products of the large supra-subduction Cheviot volcano above the subducting Avalonian sub-continent at the Iapetus suture.

There is substantially more information (locations, facilities, geological background, maps, bibliography) available HERE in .docx format.  If you wish to participate in this trip you are advised to look at this information first


Date:         Saturday 23rd August  2020

Whin Sill Sites

Awaiting further information . . . . Postponed indefinitely


Date:         12th September  2020


Awaiting further information . . . . . Postponed indefinitely