Are you considering a degree in geology, earth science or physical geography? The Blencathra Field Centre is offering a five day residential for young people aged 16–25 that are looking to improve their field skills and explore the options of a possible career in geoscience.
Geology offers fascinating window into Earth’s deep past and the foundations of our most iconic landscapes, but can be slightly daunting to the uninitiated. Our course is designed to develop an appreciation of the basic skills and knowledge of earth science in a fun and supportive environment.
During the course we will explore the world class geological sites Cumbria has to offer, from the explosive volcanics to desert sandstones. You will learn how to describe and categorise rocks in the field and to use a geological notebook to record your observations. In the evening we will briefly set the day in context with fun, interactive sessions.
You will also develop transferable skills including team work, communication and leadership. The course is suitable for a Duke of Edinburgh Award Gold residential. Always check with your leader before booking.
Tutor: James MargesonJames Margeson is the lead geology tutor for FSC Blencathra. After leaving University of Liverpool with a Masters in Geology, he worked at Lochranza Field Studies Centre on the Isle of Arran before joining the team at Blencathra in 2016. He also holds the Summer Mountain Leader award and is experienced in leading groups of all ages and abilities in UK mountain areas.
Arrival at Blencathra for no later than 12:00. Station pickups can be arranged for 11:30 from Penrith station for an additional charge of £8.00.
Get to know the rest of the group with icebreaker games and an introduction to Lake District geology on a local walk from the center.
Fieldwork - Sedimentary rocks: explore environmental change through time by visiting a range of sedimentary outcrops in the East Lakes and Eden Valley. You will learn how to produce a sedimentary log and how scientists reconstruct past climate change using geological evidence.
Evening: Guest geological speaker TBC.
Fieldwork - Borrowdale Volcanics: a classic mountain day from Buttermere will take us over Wainwright’s favourite mountain Haystacks to investigate the violent volcanic episodes recorded in the rocks of the central fells. Learn how volcanologists use deposits to make interpretation of volcanic eruption style and the economic uses of volcanic rock in the Lake District today.
Evening: An interactive session will use different rock samples and an experiment to demonstrate the fundamental controls on volcanic eruptions.
Fieldwork - Adventure day: experience Lakeland rocks in a different way with an adventurous ghyll scramble at Seatoller and enjoy an afternoon open canoeing on Derwent Water. This day will offer an opportunity for rest and reflection, as well as a chance to develop teamwork, leadership and communication skills.
Evening: A presentation exploring environmental and outdoor education career pathways.
Fieldwork - Metamorphic rocks: the alteration of rocks through temperature and pressure is a fundamental part of the processes involved in mountain building. We will conduct a transect from Blencathra to Sinen Gill to investigate.
The course finishes at 16:00 on Tuesday. Station drop offs can be arranged to Penrith station for 16:30 at an additional cost of £8.00.
Accrediting AgencyDuke of Edinburgh Award
Before You Attend
What to Bring
You will need to be prepared for full days outside whatever the weather. In order to stay safe and comfortable you will need:
- Walking boots with ankle support*
- Waterproof jacket and over trousers*
- Lots of warm layers
- Hat and fleece
- Wash kit
- Drinks bottle/flask and lunch box
- Personal medication
- Plenty of warm clothing
All geological field kit will be provided, but you will need:
- Hardback notebook – a waterproof survey book is ideal
- Pencil – propelling is advised to keep a sharp point