Scotland’s land mass is comparatively old – parts of it are about three billion years old in fact. It has some of the oldest rocks in the world. And we
have travelled far to be where we are today. Some of the rocks that make up Scotland were initially located near the South Pole but through tectonic
plate movement and many climatic adventures Scotland’s rocks arrived (approximately sixty million years ago) at their present location. Up until about
two hundred million years ago, Scotland was joined to what is now North America. Scotland and England (whose rocks are younger) were joined in geological
terms about four hundred and thirty million years ago. Strange to think of Scotland’s land mass incorporating deserts and seas and that Scotland crossed
the equator to be where it is now.
It was a Scot, James Hutton, who pioneered modern geology.
Here is a map of Scotland’s geology. The oldest rocks are the Lewissian Gneiss found in the far North West of the country.
In simple geological terms, Scotland is thought of as comprising three sub-divisions. The northern part is above the Highland Boundary fault line. I was
brought up on a farm that lies on this fault line and our holidays are mostly located close to it. That means we are close to the fertile farmland
below the fault line but also close to the forbidding mountain terrain above it.
The central area is much lower lying and has some of the best farmland. It is also where coal and other mineral resources are found. It is the most densely
populated area of Scotland.
To the south of another fault line are the Southern Uplands which comprise hills and valleys where sheep and dairy farming predominate and where, like
the highlands, population density is lower.