Field Trip Questions & Answers

Q1: What will I see on a field trip?
A1: Rocks, minerals, fossils. Lots of them. But the important thing is that you will learn how to read them, to appreciate how they all relate to the landscape and to understand something about the processes that have given us the landscape we see today. Please note carefully - these field excursions are about Geology, not Archaeology. Some people confuse the two subjects - there may be things of archaeological interest en route, but what we are looking at is geological in content.

Q2: Isn't geology hard?
A2: Not at all. Geology is a very accessible subject - it doesnt take a lot of effort to learn  enough about the subject which will allow you to better understand how the Earth works. Rocks are always there, always accessible., They don't run or fly away - you can get up close and personal.

Q3: Is Mull special?

A3: Extremely so. Check out the rest of this website to see just how varied it is. Not only that, but Mull has played a huge part in the development of the science of Geology.

Q4: OK, I'm interested. Do I have to be fit?
A4: Geology field trips can involve a fair bit of walking, sometimes on rough ground. A reasonable level of fitness is needed, but you don't have to be super-fit. Most of the field trips take place on level ground, sometimes with coastal sections. Only a few trips involve  significant amounts of ascent. These are clearly identified

Q5: OK What's the procedure?
A5: Field trips will be advertised several weeks in advance. Find a trip you are interested in from the Programme page. Contact me to let me know that you want to attend. I would prefer contact to be done by email in the first instance ( or by text (SMS) message to 07769712745. You can also call me on the same number - leave a message if you need to and I will get back to you ASAP. Once there are sufficient numbers for the trip, (6 minimum) it will go ahead. Meet me at that designated starting point and off we go! Starting points for walks are given on the Programme page

Q6: Clothing?

A6: Waterproofs are essential, as are proper walking boots. Take warm clothing - the temperature can change rapidly. A small rucksack is pretty well essential as well.  Walking poles might also be useful. Prepare for wet weather, sometimes the ground can be boggy underfoot. Midge protection is also recommended

Q7: What is the terrain like?
A7 This is an important question. A lot of the walking is on established tracks. Much of it takes place on the shore, where a variety of sand, shingle, cobbles and seaweed can be encountered. Streams may have to be crossed. Boggy ground is common in  a lot of places. The roughness of the terrain is clearly indicated in each walk in the programme

Q8: Do I need to bring anything special?
A8: Not really, just yourself, decent outdoor gear and that's about it. I will bring along all maps, notes, geological equipment needed. I would however recommend bringing a notebook to take notes and record information, and a camera. For a lot of geological recording, a mobile phone (cell phone) camera is more than adequate.

Q9: Health and Safety?
A9: Going for even a gentle stroll involves an element of risk. Geology has its own special hazards but these are highly unlikely on trips of this nature. Hammering rocks can be hazardous but this is kept to an absolute  minimum. Some terrain may require a bit of extra care (slippery rocks on the shore, seaweed, crossing streams). A first aid kit will be available at all times.

Q10: What about the weather?
A10: The weather on the west coast can be very changeable. So anyone coming on a field trip needs to have the proper wet weather gear with them, unless it is really obvious that the weather is settled and sunny. Even then... :) Someone once told me that there is no such thing as the wrong weather, only the wrong clothing! True up to a point. Please note that in the event of truly awful weather, trips may need to be postponed or cancelled.

Q11: What does it cost?
A11: The cost will vary depending on the trip. Half day trips (about 3 hours) are £10 per person, £5 for children under 15. Day trips (up to 6 hours duration) are £20 per adult and £10 for children.

All participants on Mull Geology field trips do so at their own risk. No responsibilty is accepted for any loss or injury incurred on any field trip.

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