With a striking front cover showing the incredible folds in the rocks at Scremerston, this book is a superb introduction to the geology of Northumberland. It has served as a useful reminder for me of some excellent fieldwork that I was able to undertake in the area several years ago. The itineraries are set out in the order of a number of geological processes that formed the rocks. This does mean that sometimes one is going back and forth across the area, but it does make sense to look at different localities to see how certain processes have created a very diverse landscape.
With a simplified geological map in the introduction, one is given a good overview of the geology of the area. However, I do feel that a brief explanation at that point would help the reader’s understanding of what has occurred and when, and to put the regional geology into context.
That small criticism aside, each locality is introduced with stunning photographs, which will really serve the book well in its intended purpose of acting as an accessible introduction to the geology of the area. It does require some basic knowledge, so a glossary may have been a useful addition. However, the inclusion of a small map with each locality, guidance on how to access the site using public transport, and suggestions for car parking locations makes this a very useful guide for anyone who is tempted to explore the wonderful and varied geology of the area. The descriptions of not only the geology, but also the wildlife and flora of the area make sure that this book will have a much wider appeal, and ensure that the geodiversity and the biodiversity are seen to operate hand-in-hand.
Quite simply the images in this book show the beauty of the area and how the underlying geology is instrumental in leading to its formation. As an introduction to the geology, it deserves a wide readership and I think that it is suitable not only for the interested layperson, but that there is much in it that is of benefit to the amateur and professional geologist. For me, it has brought back many happy memories of fieldwork on some outstanding geology, but also it has given me some good ideas for further exploration of the area.
Review by Gordon Neighbour
BY: Ian Jackson (2021). Northern Heritage. 114 pp. (pbk).
PRICE: £10.00 www.northern-heritage.co.uk