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Fannia lustrator
find out more... Fannia lustrator Copyright: Stephen Drake

Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
registered charity
no 1113963
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Visit Our Centre

EFC Centre at Wat Tyler Country ParkWe are open today

We are normally open to the public on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays 11am-4pm, check. We are also open on Wednesdays 10am-4pm.
Spring recording Record your Robin Record Common Frog Rana temporaria
Record Alexanders Smyrnium olusatrum Record Tawny Mining Bee Andrena fulva
Record Dark-edged Bee Fly Bombylius major
Record Spring Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes
Record cuckoo bee Melecta albifrons

Geology Site Account

A-Z Geological Site Index

Nags Head Lane M25 motorway cutting , HAROLD WOOD, London Borough of Havering, TQ572915, Historical site only

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Historical information only In 1981, during construction of the M25 motorway, a deep cutting was excavated in the London Clay and the overlying Claygate Beds just south of the point where Nags Head Lane crosses the motorway. Over a kilometre in length, the cutting exposed brown weathered clay overlying blue-grey clay containing a wealth of marine fossils such as bivalves and gastropods. Also present was the pearly nautilus – a clear indication that the seas some 50 million years ago were subtropical. More fossils were probably collected from here than from any other temporary London Clay exposure in Britain. A large collection of the fossils from this site went to the former Passmore Edwards Museum in Stratford. Due to the need to maintain a stable slope in unstable London Clay, the shallow angle of the banks required one of the largest motorway cuttings in the country but this had the advantage of exposing a considerable area of clay for collecting. On completion of the motorway the exposure was covered with topsoil and grass but the cutting is still an impressive sight.

The giant Nags Head Lane motorway cutting today. The cutting produced thousands of fossils from the London Clay when it was excavated in 1981. Photo: G. Lucy


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Reference: Ward 1987, Ellison 2004 (p.48)

Geology Site Map
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