A Level Geology enrichment field studies in the
North West Highlands Geopark.
A unique experience for your A Level Geology students.
The North West Highlands Geopark cannot be equalled for its exceptional geodiversity, scenery and wildlife.
It is a stunning and remote location that never fails to inspire geology students and teachers alike.
This course will encourage your students to put into practice theories and skills learnt in class and to "think geologically" about some of the most famous rocks and structures in the UK.
The programme will vary depending on the time of year, duration and timing of flights but the sample itinerary below will give a good indication as to what can be included.
Day one - The journey to Scotland and an introduction to the Geopark.
Flight to Inverness Airport.
Geofieldwork Ltd staff will meet you at Inverness Airport and transport you to Acheninver Hostel (a journey of around 2 hours). After everyone has settled into the hostel, if time and daylight allows, we will walk down to the local beach at Acheninver and have our first look at some of the local geology. In this case a wonderful exposure of ripple-marked Torridonian Sandstone.
After the evening meal we will start to course proper with an introduction to the Geopark, class-based practical work with rock samples, guidance on how to keep a good geological notebook and practise taking strike and dip readings.
Day two - Ancient Metamorphics and Incredible Intrusives.
This day takes us northwards through the Geopark to the area around Scourie and Loch Laxford. Here we will see exposures of Lewisian Gneiss, one of the oldest rocks in the world, and the Scourie Dyke swarm. This day will also include a visit to the Rockstop Cafe and Visitor Centre which has an excellent interpretation display about the Geopark.
Field skills will include field sketching, strike and dip readings, rock descriptions and use of geo-chronological principles.
After a return journey and evening meal we will use the class session to do some geological map interpretation.
Day three - Unconformities and Sediments.
The morning is based around Clachtoll and Stoer starting with the famous unconformity between the Lewisian Gneiss and the Torridonian Sandstone. The local outcrops of Torridonian Sandstone are a good place to practise sedimentary logging and we will also visit the nearby Stac Fada meteorite impact site. The afternoon is spent visiting a series of roadside and coastal outcrops to practise more field skills such as using trace fossils as way-up indicators, apparent dip of fold limbs and an introduction to sampling methods.
The evening session will be used to create a graphic log from the days field observations and to learn about how the study of the Moine Thrust was so fundamental to our understanding of geological processes.
Day four - Thrusts and Faults and the journey home.
After a prompt departure from Acheninver we will visit the world famous exposure at Knockan Crag to see the Moine Thrust before driving back to Inverness ready for the flight home.
If time, weather and energy allows there is also the opportunity to climb Stac Pollaidh (at additional cost for a mountain guide) to gain a stunning panorama of the geology studied over the past few days.
Cost and availability
This course is available between late September and early March each year.
The cost is £289 per student based on a group size of 12 students with 2 free staff places. For smaller groups the price per student will increase slightly
We cannot take more than 12 students at a time due to the size of the hostel and limitations of transport.
This price include full board and lodging, collection and return to Inverness Airport, all transport during the field course, all field equipment and hard hats and all tuition.
Schools will need to buy the flights to Inverness separately.