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The British geological survey (BGS) has recently published some data regarding underground valleys around Scotland and how we can unearth the heating beneath our feet, work now needs to be done on the valleys to find out what is there and how it can be used to an advantage.

The valleys hold a potential to be useful for providing geothermal energy or as a groundwater source for the whiskey or manufacturing sections. This specific valley sits below Grangemouth and it is the UK’s largest ancient hidden valley, there are also others around Glasgow and old Aberdeen.

These valleys were formed at the end of the ice age but filled with sediment as sea levels rose, in most parts of the country the bedrock sits under by just a few metres from the soil, however, at Grangemouth, the deepest deposit is around 162 metres.

The project leader of BGS, Tim Kearsey, said, “Britain’s buried valleys may be underground; however, they could have a huge impact on what happens above the surface. We combined historical BGS survey activities with over 200,000 borehole records from our national borehole database to identify these previously hidden features across the UK.”


The whole of the Cheshire basin in England looks ‘flat as a pancake’, Dr Kearsey says, but it has lots of features underneath it, he says. The deepest system is in the middle of Scotland and that is under Grangemouth, Kearsey said ‘it is over 160m deep and absolutely full of clay’, the valleys were formed as ice sheets retreated at the end of the last ice age around 11,500 years ago.

Dr Clare Bond, a geologist from the university of Aberdeen, told the BBC Scotland, “Scotland has some really good underground recourses for a range of energy and heat”, “you’ve got quite shallow dry aquifers, old mine sources and you’ve also got the potential for quite deep geothermal which could give you both heat and electric energy.

BGS first identified a hidden valley in the 1870’s and has been collecting data since then using thousands of boreholes, however, digital technology has allowed them to collect and collate that data which has been turned into publicly available maps. With a climate emergency on our hands declared by the Scottish government, an increasing emphasis is being placed on developing renewable energy.

Hero Renewables strongly stand by the decision to do some further research into what is beneath Scotland and what we can do to use it to our absolute advantage, after all, if there was a way to harness the earths power, naturally, without burning fossil fuels, then why would you not! If you would like to take a step to making your home or business a more renewable space, then you can enquire now for a free feasibility study to find out how much you would benefit!

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