SUMMER PROGRAMME 2023 > Tuesday 9 May 2023. THE BUILDING STONES OF LURGAN (BNFC, BGS members welcome) Leader Mark Cooper (Geological Survey of Northern Ireland) Meet at 6.30pm at entrance gates of Brownlow House,Windsor Avenue, Lurgan BT67 9BJ.  (Grid Ref: J 085 587  Geog: N54.4652 W6.3273) Just opposite entrance to Lurgan Park. Coming from M1 Exit 10 travel approx. 2 miles into town centre passing Church Place and War Memorial into Market Street take first left into Castle Lane to the end to Brownlow House (on left hand side of Castle Lane). Those coming by train to Lurgan Station turn left along William Street into Church Place and follow instructions previously outlined. Estimated time of walking approx. 15 mins. Other road routes into the town are possible - basically reach Market Street and into Castle Lane. We will spend approximately 2 hours on a walking tour of Lurgan Town Centre exploring its rich building heritage as outlined in the 'Lurgan Geology and Built Heritage Trail' published in 2021 by GSNI in conjunction with local organisations and civic authorities. The 12 stops on the tour highlighted in the publication reflect the diversity of building stones used both locally across north of Ireland and further afield, particularly Scotland. Lurgan is quite good in that it has managed to hold on to a lot of its older buildings to be able to see its diverse building stones, unlike a modern trend for mass produced building material elsewhere. Publication can be viewed at 27th May – 4th June Geo-week, see: > Saturday 3rd June RATHLIN ISLAND Leader Alan Wallder Meet at Rathlin ferry office, Ballycastle in time for the 10:00 ferry – you need to be there at least 15 minutes before departure time. Pre-booking tickets is advisable - book on line at or by phone 028 2076 9299.  Returning on the 17:00 sailing. FOOD.  We suggest you bring a packed lunch and drink.  Also, be sure to park early in the car park beside the terminal. Please be aware that the Ballycastle Maritime festival is also on that weekend so please book your ferry ticket early. Plan is to use the ‘Puffin Bus’ (cost is £10 return or single) to visit the RSPB Seabird Centre ( entrance fee for non-RSPB members – details at ). Options are then to take the bus or walk back to the Church Bay area. For a geological sketch map originally drawn by Dr Jack Preston <click here>   > Saturday 22nd July 2023 (Joint with BNFC) CARNLOUGH - GEOLOGY AND INDUSTRIAL HISTORY. Leader Karen Parks Meet at south side of Carnlough Harbour (upper level) at 10.30am. (Grid ref: D 288 181  Geog: N54.992891 W5.988991) Parking options if main street is full 1) beside Spar or 2) community centre via Croft Road - continue up hill from the turning before Spar (Larne side), turn left at small roundabout and left again into car park where there are toilet facilities. The Carnlough area has an important and varied history in terms of utilising geological resources. Many prominent features in the town and surrounding areas relate to these former industries which the excursion will examine. After discussing the development of past and present harbours, we will walk up the former mineral railway to the quarries, examining a former lime kiln en route. The Gortin townland area shows evidence of limestone quarrying and processing while there are some remnants relating to the cutting/transporting of peat and its processing into sulphate of ammonia. If people wish, we can walk on to the Cranny Falls seeing more evidence of former limestone quarrying. Lunch can be a picnic at upper quarry/Cranny Falls (if the sun shines) or back at Carnlough where there are plenty of snack options + toilets. There is limited parking in the Cranny Falls/Gortin area for those that do not wish to walk up the former mineral railway. Safety: The paths we will be using are generally well surfaced (in places grass/stone/tarmac). Paths in the quarries are sound but do have trip hazards (uneven surface in places). Depending on whether the path to Cranny Falls has been cleared, there may be a small 'climb' and jump' to get over fallen rock/soil. For hand-out, <click here> ~ Afternoon session ~ 2 pm visit to Carnlough Heritage Hub - The Heritage Hub is a modern exhibition area.  Further information at: carnlough-town-hall-p731211 IMPORTANT If you’re intending to come, please email as we need to know numbers for the Hub. > Wednesday 16th Aug (evening) HAZELBANK FORESHORE Leader Dr Mark Cooper, GSNI Meet Hazelbank carpark 18.30, finish Kilroot 21.00 (Grid ref: J 354 812  Geog: 54.660997 -5.901933) (entrance to Hazelbank is from roundabout at Shore Road / M2 junction) This trip will look at dykes and faults on the foreshore of Belfast Lough. This <image> was taken by Conor Graham and the "X" on the photo represents the cross-cutting Palaeogene Dykes at Macedon Point (54.6595, - 5.8992).  The dykes are intruded into gently folded Mercia Mudstone Group country rocks.  An extensive series of dykes is exposed at low tide and is visible from the coastal path.  High resolution images from UAVs give a unique perspective of this geology and can be used to support geological mapping and survey. Come along and find out more about when these occurred and why they are important along the Belfast foreshore. > Saturday 26th August (POSTPONED FROM 19th AUGUST DUE TO ADVERSE WEATHER FORECAST) FAMILY FUN DAY AT WHITEPARK BAY Leader Karen Parks Meet in the YHA Car Park 10 am. (Grid ref: D 014 436  Geog: 55.228833 -6.406700) The group will walk down onto the beach. We will be looking at different rock types in the pebbles and playing some rock related games. We will walk to the fossil beach to look for some fossils on the east side of the Bay.  Please bring a packed lunch and appropriate footwear and waterproofs.  There are a range of fossils eg ammonites and belemnites that may be found and if you are lucky you will be able to find pebbles of microgranite from Ailsa Craig.  Come and listen to the stories of how the different rocks formed and the importance of the area. TRAFFIC NOTE Coming from the south.  The Ballinlea Road (the road going north from the Dry Arch to Whitepark Bay) may be closed for roadworks. Suggest going west from the Dry Arch along the Moyarget Road (B67) to Moss-side and then north on the Moycraig Road to Whitepark Bay. > Sunday 17th September 2023 WONDERFUL WORLD OF FOSSILS 11am – 4pm. WWT Castle Espie nr Comber and-tell    Come along to WWT Castle Espie today and enjoy the wonderful world of fossils with Ulster Museum’s very own PROFESSOR MIKE SIMMS. Mike has always been a favourite with all age groups at WWT Castle Espie and beyond. A fun experience not to be missed. Mike will be in the centre between 11am and 4pm so drop by and have a chat and a close up look at these incredible creatures of the distant past. Standard admission charge (free for WWT members). >                                                                                                                                                                                                                        <Photos> Saturday 7th October 2023 NORTHERN IRELAND’S GEODIVERSITY IN A NUTSHELL, IN A GARDEN. Leader Dr Michael Dempster Earth Science and Heritage Officer, Northern Ireland Environment Agency 10:30am – 12:30pm.  Crawfordsburn Country Park Meet: lowest car park at frog sculpture. 54.667365 -5.727454 Health and Safety: The walk is on firm paths, but there are potential slip or trip hazards to be aware of, so good footwear is recommended, and suitable clothing for the weather on the day.   This short excursion will be to the Geological Garden at Crawfordsburn Country Park, installed to mark the International Year of Planet Earth in 2008. This trip serves to mark International Geodiversity Day, held yearly on 6th October.   The Geological Garden contains a range of rock exhibits that together demonstrate the remarkable diversity of Northern Ireland’s geological heritage. Making our way through the garden we will travel through time and changing environments, considering the importance of conserving and managing geodiversity as nature’s stage and its relevance to society. For detailed printable directions <click here>. back to top Home NEWS Winter Summer Links Resources Archive About Contact Galleries