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Spilosoma lutea
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Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
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no 1113963
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EFC Centre at Wat Tyler Country ParkWe are open today

In January we are only open to the public at our centre at Wat Tyler Country Park on Wednesdays 10am-4pm.
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Geology Site Account

A-Z Geological Site Index

Furze Hill Gravel Pit, MISTLEY HEATH, Tendring District, TM122309, Potential Local Geological Site

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Former gravel pit in woodland adjacent to the Essex Way. The site is of geological interest with potential for geological education and research.


Site description

Waldringfield Gravel is the oldest deposit in Essex from the former course of the River Thames and could be as much as 800,000 years old. However, no exposures of this gravel are known.

The Ordnance Survey map of 1897 shows a gravel pit in woodland in Mistley Park, south-east of Furze Hill, which, according to the geological map, is situated on the Waldringfield Gravel. Today, evidence of this gravel working can be seen throughout the eastern half of the wood with several steep banks and hollows. A coarse, iron-stained gravel can be seen in small excavations made by rabbits, and pebbles from the gravel are on the paths and in the roots of fallen trees. The gravel appears to contain a high proportion of ‘exotic’ pebbles that clearly have been carried some distance by the Thames, such as well-rounded pebbles of white vein quartz (from North Wales?).

The woodland does not appear to have a name and so the name Furze Hill Gravel Pit has been adopted for this site. The wood is publicly accessible and the Essex Way, a long distance public footpath, runs along the northern boundary. Gravel is more clearly seen in the northern part of the wood close to the footpath and also near the southern boundary. In the centre of the wood there are areas of fine-grained gravel, which may be left over from gravel grading and processing on site in Victorian times.


Tendring district in Waldringfield Gravel times.
Tendring district in Waldringfield Gravel times.

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Geology Site Map
A-Z Geological Site Index