Belhaven Bay – surf’s up! Geodiversity’s up!

Had my first ever trip to Belhaven Bay, just to the west of Dunbar. I’ve been into Dunbar itself to look at the rocks in the harbour area and visited the extensive Carboniferous exposures to the south of Dunbar at Barns Ness and Skateraw. The geology of this part of the coast of East Lothian is good, and accessible, enough to have made it one of the 51 Best Places to See Scotland’s Geology.

Wilf has been desperate to try surfing since getting a bodyboard on holiday and he and his twin sister Alligin has a brilliant time at Coast2Coast surf school this morning. I thoroughly recommend them and was very impressed at the relaxed but professional manner the lesson was conducted in. Useful contact with the team when the weather conditions were looking unfavourable earlier in the week.

Belhaven Bay is much more somewhere to examine modern processes. The berm of the beach, the way the waves were interacting with each other as they broke and the ecology of the dune systems. However, the most interesting element for me was the salt marsh between the car park area and the open beach.

Further up the coast, a marsh played a significant factor as a terrain obstacle that was overcome by the Jacobite forces at the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745, so it was rather illustrative to see the marsh parallel to the coast.

For more on the military hydrogeology of Prestonpans and Flodden Field, see Prof. Paul Younger’s excellent article in the GSL Special volume.

I am a palaeobiologist in my early 40's carrying out research work. I am based in Scotland.

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Posted in Geodiversity, Geological Walks (low-level), Scotland, Trips

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Al is a Hill and Moorland Leader and has also completed the Expedition Skills module
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