Why Siccar Point?

Siccar Point is a headland on the North Sea coast of the Scottish Borders and is regarded by many as the most significant site in the emergence of the science of geology.

The site is famous for Hutton’s Unconformity, a classic example of one set of strata (in this case Old Red Sandstone) lying unconformably ie at a sharply different angle to the rocks beneath (steeply dipping Silurian aged greywackes). Siccar Point’s fame stems from a visit in 1788 by James Hutton, later hailed as the ‘Father of Modern Geology’. In these outcrops he saw the immense periods of time and colossal tectonic forces that must have existed in order to have created this geological snapshot. It became the classic site used to argue for deep geological time and by inference against the much shorter timelines that were the received wisdom of the day.

Hutton’s work was an inspired piece of evidence based and contrarian thinking. When first published he encountered hostility from many of his peers. However the strength of his reasoning and the tenacity of his character won the day. We can think of no better inspiration for an E&P company seeking to find value beneath the waves of the North Sea that break on Siccar Point.

Supporting the Edinburgh Geological Society

Siccar Point Energy has provided funding for helpful information signage and 20,000 leaflets to increase awareness about the unique and important features of the Siccar Point site of special scientific interest (SSSI) in the Scottish Borders. We are also exploring further opportunities to enhance the site with Edinburgh Geological Society.

Siccar Point is famous as the site where, in 1788, Edinburgh based natural scientist James Hutton found the decisive evidence he sought for his Theory of the Earth – the never-ending cycles of creation and destruction that shape our landscape today.

A consortium of interested parties, including the Edinburgh Geological Society, heritage organisations and universities, has been set up to improve the visitor experience and create greater access at the site, ahead of the 300th anniversary of Hutton’s birth in 2026.

Doug Fleming, Chief Financial Officer of Siccar Point Energy said: “As an oil and gas company geology is at the heart of what we do. Hutton is an inspiring example of a scientist who followed the evidence and defied the conventional wisdom of the day. It’s a great example for a young company and a fascinating piece of Scottish history to preserve and to learn from.”

Bob Gatliff of Edinburgh Geological Society added: “The support from Siccar Point Energy will make a tremendous difference to our plans to preserve and promote the area. Our long-term ambition is to do more to support the education and tourism potential at Siccar Point and this is a great first step in that direction.”