Wednesday 9 September

Field trip to the East Lothian coast

This years field trip was to the East Lothian shoreline between Dunbar and Tyningham.  This area is a diverse and dynamic stretch of the coast along the Firth of Forth, approximately 30 miles south of Edinburgh.  Dunbar has a rich history, established as a royal burgh in the 1300s, and has since evolved into a growing fishing town and local community, resulting in a seascape of natural, built and historic seawalls, and harbour. Dunbar is also home to John Muir, known for his pivotal role in establishing some of America's early wilderness areas (e.g. Yosemite), but whose legacy remains in Scotland as well.

The field trip was comprised of two 4.5 km walks before and after a fantastic and leisurely lunch break in the rustic Tyningham village Hall.

We visited the John Muir Country Park which extends from Dunbar to Tyningham, on both sides of the River Tyne estuary.  On the south end, near Dunbar is Bellhaven Bay, a vast sweeping beach and saltmarsh, with growing recreational pressures such as horseriding and tourism. We also visited the Tyningham side of the estuary - this highly diverse seascape included secluded beaches with views of Bass Rock (the world's largest single gannet colony), rocky intertidal headlands and extensive intact salt marsh systems.  We even got to see a gannet feeding display....