We have a range of freely available educational resources and links to some of our favourites from other providers.
- Info Sheets – topics specific to Arran
- Resources – Geology and Environmental Science
- Activities – Responsible Access
- Field Guides – to sites on Arran
The youngest of Arran’s rocks are a mere 57-59 million years old and consist of solidified lavas and magmas. During this period the north-west of the United Kingdom was joined to Greenland and North America. Things heated up 🌋 when the northern section of the Atlantic Ocean began to open along the mid-atlantic ridge, separating Europe from North America.
We have amazing fossilised evidence of giant insects and vast forests! 🐛 During the Carboniferous period Arran basked in a warm tropical climate, due to its position close to the equator, and the land and seas were filled with life.
With its spectacular variety of geology, it is no wonder the Isle of Arran has a rich and diverse industrial past. Geology provides many vital natural resources such as oil and gas, coal, metals, minerals, and construction materials. Arran holds many important geological resources which have been commercially exploited over the years and are an important aspect of the island’s cultural heritage.
A famous Scottish scientist, born in 1726 in Edinburgh, James Hutton is known for being the founder of modern geology and the first to propose the concept of ‘deep time’. ⏳ He visited Arran and discovered an important outcrop which was instrumental in forming his theories.
It’s an oldie but a goodie. This “cheat sheet” summarises 600 million years of our island’s history on two pages of A4! 🤯
Resources – Geology and Environmental Science
Three topics: Fantastic Fossils, Sorted Minerals, and Rock Stories. Detailed information on each topic – the interactive elements require resources (rocks etc!) from us, although you could source your own.
A HUGE number of free resources are available on the Lochranza Centre’s website. These cover geography, geology and environmental science – also check out their YouTube channel.
The BGS has loads of classroom activities, lesson plans and other resources, all freely available. We particularly like the time spiral, puppets and models. Cut out, colour in, and keep! Want to know what the rock are where you live? Check out their handy online geological maps.
Learn about geological process visually by cutting and sticking the labels in the correct places on the diagram to show what is happening at each stage of the “rock cycle”. Download the answer sheet here.
Our favourite app – now finally available online! This interactive tool explores the science of Earth’s deep history. EarthViewer dynamically shows how continents grow and shift through billions of years. Additional layers explore changes in atmospheric composition, temperature, biodiversity, day length, and solar luminosity over geologic time.
Activities – Responsible Access
Instructions on how to organise a competitive (or cooperative!) challenge, where the winner is the team who collects the most litter.
Instructions on how to organise a poster competition, where posters are designed to promote responsible behaviour in the countryside.
The Scottish Outdoor Access Code (SOAC) Activity Education Resource Pack is full of resources and activities that can be adapted for all age groups. It is designed for anyone who is keen to learn more about and encourage responsible access in the outdoors.
If you would like to look at rocks in the field, Susan has made this guide of easy to get to outcrops (Brodick, Corrie, and Pirnmill). You too can be a geodetective and see lot’s of interesting things: rocks half-a-billion years old, sedimentary rocks, volcanic rocks and metamorphic rocks – as well as cool fossils! Buy a paper copy at Arran Heritage Museum in Brodick.
A selection of six waymarked walking trails located around the island. Look out for the wooden Geopark marker posts and QR codes.
A field trip favourite! This super-detailed annotated map is a perfect guide to the geology of the Corrie foreshore.