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EFC Centre at Wat Tyler Country ParkWe are closed due to the Covid-19 situation, but we are otherwise normally open to the public at our centre at Wat Tyler Country Park every Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday 11am-4pm, check. We are also normally open on Wednesdays 10am-4pm.

Geology Site Account

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Cowlands Farm Quarry, STEBBING, Uttlesford District, TL669233, General geological site

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Site category: Thames (pre-diversion)

Site name: Cowlands Farm Quarry, near Stebbing.

Grid reference: TL 669 233

Brief description of site:

Former gravel quarry now a fishing lake. Kesgrave (Thames) Sands and Gravels were formerly exposed with important sections revealing soil horizons and deformation structures. It is the type site of the Stebbing Gravel.



Kesgrave (Thames) Sands and Gravels were formerly exposed at these gravel pits with well-developed palaeosols (ancient soils). The gravel was found to be disturbed by large gull-like structures (enlarged tension fissures induced by mass movement). It is the type site of the Stebbing Gravel.

The gravel overlies patches of Red Crag basement pebble bed. In 1892 it was reported that a small mass of Red Crag had been found in a sand pit at Stebbing but it was not in-situ (Gepp 1892).

The quarry is now disused and flooded and is now a carp fishing lake. There are no gravel exposures.

Clay-enriched, reddened soil horizon at the top of well-bedded gravels at Cowlands Farm Pit in 1980. Photo © British Geological Survey (P212608).


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Reference: Whiteman & Kemp 1990, Whiteman 1992 (p.46), Lake & Wilson 1990 (p.24-26 & frontispiece), Mathers & Zalasiewicz 1988 (p.267), Gepp 1892.

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