Durham Conference 2018: Fieldtrips Announced

Four pre-conference and one post-conference fieldtrips are planned.

All field trips will include an element of visiting active extractive sites. Please be prepared to bring full PPE on all visits, including high visibility clothing, hard hat, boots, gloves and safety glasses. All field trips will be on Wednesday 12th September with the exception of Weardale on Saturday 15th September.


Crimerigg and Hawthorn Quarries -       (Approx. 20mins east of Durham)


We will begin with a visit to Crimerigg Quarry, hosted by the operator Breedon Aggregates. The quarry produces construction aggregates from the Raisby Formation, the earliest of the Magesian Limestone sequence and the source rock for numerous large aggregate quarries in the area. Crimerigg also extracts the underlying sand from the coastal dune sequences found beneath the limestone. We will then travel a short distance to Tarmac’s mothballed Hawthorn Quarry. Hawthorn Quarry once extracted high purity dolomite from the middle ‘Ford’ and upper ‘Roker’ formations of the Magnesian Limestone. The site contains a geological SSSI due to the exposures of the reef-edge limestone facies and rare fossil stromatolites.


Todhills Brickworks and Long Lane Quarry (Approx. 25mins south of Durham)


The visit will include a tour of Weinerberger’s modern Todhills brickworks near Bishop Auckland where we will be shown the automated processes used to make a variety of popular brick products at the factory We will then visit their extraction site at Long Lane Quarry adjacent to the factory, to view exposures of the coal measures sequences that are exploited for brick production.


Shotton Surface Mine and Northumberlandia.  (Approx. 45mins north of Durham)



This trip will take us to visit Banks Group’s Shotton open cast coal mine. We will observe workings in the final phase of extraction of what was once one of the UK’s largest extractive operations (c.400ha / 988 acres). Our hosts will demonstrate their commitment to restoration of sites and safe and responsible mining practises. And any trip to area would not be complete without a walk up the Lady of the North, part of the Northumberlandia public park created as part of the Shotton restoration.


 Barrasford Quarry, Northumberland     (Approx. 50mins north west of Durham)

We will be hosted by Tarmac at their Barrasford quarry on the outcrop of the Whinsill in Northumberland. The site is a large quarry producing construction aggregates from the Whinsill igneous intrusion as well as the Carboniferous Limestone country rock. We will have a chance to see the safe and efficient working practises undertaken at the site, and understand the challenges of quarrying in this setting.


Weardale - North Pennines AONB and Geopark (Approx. 40mins west of Durham)

On Saturday - A longer trip taking in aspects of the geology and mining history of the upper Weardale area in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and European Geopark. The final itinerary is yet to be confirmed, but will include a visit to Aggregate Industries’ Heights Quarry, and parts of the Slitt Wood and West Rigg Geotrail which leads through historical areas of mining where iron, lead, and fluorite were worked extensively. The fieldtrip will be led by Prof. Peter Scott, and will provide a fantastic finish to the 2018 conference.




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