Dunfermline Press

Dunfermlin­e heritage to take centre stage at ‘Geology festival’

- Cbuchanan@dunfermlin­epress.co.uk

Clare Buchanan

A GEOLOGY festival celebratin­g Scotland’s heritage will launch in Dunfermlin­e next week.

The event, running from Friday until October 8, will see talks, walks and exhibition­s take place across the country starting with a talk at the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum.

Dr Neil Clark, who is Curator of Palaeontol­ogy at Glasgow’s Hunterian Museum, will discuss some of his favourite iconic fossil sites and look at the evolution of geology outreach throughout the last 30 years.

He’ll be joined by poet and writer Larissa Reid, who will read some of her work which has been inspired by Scotland’s breathtaki­ng geology.

The festival is being put on by the Scottish Geology Trust and has been organised by its director,

Charlestow­n- based paleontolo­gist Katie Strang.

She hopes the event will help bring West Fife’s heritage to the forefront.

“I am absolutely delighted that this event is being held in Scotland’s newest city,” she said. “There is a whole lot of really cool geology and paleontolo­gy around Dunfermlin­e and West Fife that I am always keen to promote.

“In terms of the festival in general, I am really trying to promote how amazing Scotland’s geology is. There is three billion years of history within the rocks. Since lockdown, a lot of people have spent more time in their local areas which has made people appreciate what is around them and take more notice.

“It is trying to engage with people and let people who that rocks are not boring.

“A lot of people don’t make that connection between the old coal industry and paleontolo­gy. That is why I was keen to launch the event in Dunfermlin­e.”

Living in the area has made Katie, who studied a PHD in paleontolo­gy at Durham University before moving to West Fife, appreciate how rich the area is in fossils and rocks.

“What I wanted to do with the launch was to promote Dunfermlin­e and how rich the heritage is,” she explained. “Even in Pittencrie­ff Park, you have got a lot of fossilised tree stumps.

“There are so many people who ask how you find so many fossils or cool rocks, and it is just getting used to knowing what you are looking for. It takes me ages to walk places as I stop when I see rocks and things!”

As part of the festival, an event is also set to take place in Limekilns and Katie will also be featuring at Dunfermlin­e’s Outwith Festival where she will be involved in Tombstones and Tales’ event at Dunfermlin­e Abbey on Saturday,

September 9, and look at the geology of gravestone­s.

All the events, Katie hopes, will encourage people to take more of an interest in paleontolo­gy and geology and she is keen to pass on her knowledge to local school children, organisati­ons and groups.

“I lead on the engagement theme for the Scottish Geology Trust and the festival is part of that engagement,” she added. “I go into a lot of schools and do a lot of in community talks as well and things for community groups and youth groups.

“It is about putting together things like fossil boxes, rock boxes. I do a lot through social media I post a lot about fossils and rocks.”

To find out more about the Scottish Geology Festival and how to get involved, visit www. scottishge­ologytrust. org/ festival. Anyone wanting to find out more about outreach and engagement can email Katie on engagement@ scottishge­ologytrust. org.

 ?? ?? Katie Strang who is organising the Scottish Geology Trust’s Geology Festival.
Katie Strang who is organising the Scottish Geology Trust’s Geology Festival.

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