Balmerino II

Since I wrote the paragraph on the previous page, I have seen a lot of Balmerino. It's a place very dear to me. It's a place that must be protected. Over the summer of 2020 a lot of damage was inflicted environmentally at the location, by so-called "dirty campers", which in turn no doubt caused the local people much stress and strain. I have seen large groups sat on the shoreside path at plastic tables heaving with drink, ready with a wise-crack for me as I negotiated the throng. I have seen a solitary camper in the tranquility of a spring evening, absorbed in a novel as he heated a pot of tea on the fire, unaware of my passing. The former group left their surroundings in much disarray, with it being left to the local folk to tidy up after them, a task that in some cases involved removing human excrement. The latter left not so much as a discarded tea bag. The freedom for all to camp at this beautiful place will be lost if the offending people continue to abuse that right, but I believe that may be the only way forward sadly.


Most collectors will be familiar with the usual Balmerino fare, small, often highly coloured and detailed fortification stones in shades ranging through browns, reds and oranges. On these pages I have focused on oddities for the most part, though some agates classic to the location are included. At Balmerino, often such oddities are zeolitic in nature, and if they are large they may be brecciated. As has been noted previously, the nearby Scurr Hill has provided fine examples of moss agate for as long as people cared to collect it. In my experience fine moss agate, often in strong colours, can also be found on the beaches below.


With zeolitic agates at this location, often they are encountered in partial oddly-shaped pieces, run through with vugs, and as such are difficult to cut and polish. However, agates of this nature have become a recent focus of mine, and Balmerino as well as Tayport to the east, consistently provide outstanding examples.