If you’ve visited Lucid Gypsy a few times you’ll know that I don’t do science, but if I ever decided to, it would be geology. The ground we walk on really fascinates me, especially around here. On Saturday my friend and I went to Axmouth (and saw yesterday’s robin) and walked on the pebble beach for a while.
Just a small area, but a part of both the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, this 304 hectares has been named Haven Cliffs.
I’m not posting this first photo for its beauty but so that you can see the change in the rock, at Beer, a couple of miles west of where I stood, from white chalk to red sandstone.
Back to the cliff above me, click to see the layers.
And again. See how the landslips have made the layers visible?
Apparently, the red sandstone was formed 210 million years ago in the late Triassic era, when conditions were desert like. The grey rock layers are the remains of dried up lake beds when the deserts were inundated by rising sea levels. The overlying chalk cliffs formed 85-95 million years ago from the remains of billions of tiny sea creatures.
The South West Coast Path rises above these cliffs and it’s possible to walk the 7 miles east to Lyme Regis. It would be a killer though unless you’re really fit, in which case it would take 5 hours. The time and distance is fine but I don’t do hills very well. I’d like to take a boat trip along the Jurassic Coast, and see it from that perspective, perhaps this summer.