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Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
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EFC Centre at Wat Tyler Country ParkWe are normally open to the public on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays 11am-4pm, check. We are also open on Wednesdays 10am-4pm.
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Geology Site Account

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Lofts Farm Pit SSSI, GREAT TOTHAM , Maldon District, TL864091, Site of Special Scientific Interest

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Lofts Farm Pit SSSI, near Great Totham. Grid reference TL 864091.


The disused Lofts Farm Gravel Pit worked the Blackwater terrace gravel and yielded numerous fossil bones of large Ice Age mammals in the early 1980s. It has now been completely restored and is now a lake with no geological exposures. However it has been designated a geological SSSI because of its research potential.


Scientific interest

The Blackwater terrace gravel at Lofts Farm Pit yielded an impressive assemblage of large mammal remains in the early 1980s as well as smaller vertebrates and even insects and pollen. The large mammals included reindeer, woolly mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, hyaena, bison and wolf. The finds included the tusk of a mammoth. These fossils were found in organic sediments interbedded with the gravel and indicate a cold climate. The fossils are thought to be of Devensian (last glacial) age.

Unfortunately Lofts Farm Pit is now completely restored and is just a lake with no visible geology. However, the western pit at Chigborough Lakes Nature Reserve remains unrestored and therefore provides a glimpse into this period of our past - a time when an Ice Sheet covered a large part of Britain, the North Sea did not exist and the River Blackwater was a tributary of the Thames-Medway River. Chigborough Lakes Reserve (TL 877 086) is 500 metres east of the site of Lofts Farm Pit.

Lofts Farm Pit SSSI. Photo: G.Lucy


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Reference: Bridgland 1994 (p.376-385)

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