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Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
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EFC Centre at Wat Tyler Country ParkWe are open today

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Geology Site Account

A-Z Geological Site Index

Jaywick Foreshore (part of Clacton Cliffs and Foreshore SSSI), JAYWICK, Tendring District, TM146128, Site of Special Scientific Interest

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Site of Special Scientific Interest designated for the importance of its geology. The site consists of interglacial 'channels' that were formerly exposed on the foreshore at Jaywick. They are located at TM 146 128 and TM 155 130.

See Clacton Cliffs and Foreshore SSSI for more details of this site.


Description of sites

Although the Clacton channel deposits were discovered and extensively described in the nineteenth century they were only known from the site of their original discovery – the cliffs at Clacton. It was Essex amateur geologist Samuel Hazzledine Warren who recognised that part of the Clacton sequence also occurs on the foreshore at Lion Point, Jaywick (TM 146 128) and was part of the same channel. The deposits filling this channel have yielded fossils of animals such as lion, rhinoceros and straight-tusked elephant and are thought to have been deposited by the early Thames during the Hoxnian interglacial stage, about 400,000 years ago. The route of this channel between Jaywick and Clacton is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) (see entry for Clacton Cliffs and Foreshore SSSI).

Coincidently, a further, but younger, channel was discovered on the Jaywick foreshore in the late 1990s by David Bain at TM 155 130. This channel was cut into the London Clay and contained a white marl deposit which yielded a tooth of a straight-tusked elephant, the base of an antler of a giant deer, various bones, teeth and horns of aurochs (giant ox), and a finger bone of a brown bear. Various lines of evidence point to this channel being deposited by a local river during the Ipswichian interglacial stage, about 120,000 years ago.

Both channels have unfortunately now been obscured by the build up of shingle as a result of the construction of the ‘fish-tail’ coastal protection structures.


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Reference: Warren 1924, Bridgland 1994 (p. 330-347)

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