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Elasmostethus interstinctus
find out more... Elasmostethus interstinctus  (Birch Shieldbug) Copyright: Graham Ekins

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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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Kennington Park, AVELEY, Thurrock District, TQ560812, Potential Local Geological Site

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Site name: Kennington Park

Grid reference: TQ 560812

Brief description of site:

Kennington Park is a former gravel pit of geological interest with potential for research and for promoting geology. There were several small exposures of gravel (Orsett Heath Gravel) providing evidence of the former course of the Thames 400,000 years ago.

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Summary of geological interest

Kennington Park was created in the 1990s from gravel pits alongside the Romford Road, and the former pits are now publicly accessible fishing lakes. When the park was created there were several exposures of gravel, particularly alongside the path on the northern edge of the park where it formed low cliffs up to 2 metres high. The best of these exposures is unfortunately now contained within a private fishing area known as Back Lake. The gravel is Orsett Heath Gravel which forms the oldest and highest terrace of the Lower Thames and about 400,000 years old.

This patch of Orsett Heath Gravel at Aveley exists because it was preserved as a ‘meander core’, in other words it was at the centre of a loop of the Thames and therefore not destroyed when the river was cutting down through its floodplain during the following terrace cycle (Bridgland 1994).

The adjacent pit to the west was the famous Sandy Lane Clay Pit which became famous in 1964 for the discovery of the Aveley elephants.



Orsett Heath Gravel at the north edge of Kennington Park. Photo: G.Lucy

 

Route of the Thames during deposition of the Orsett Heath Gravel
Route of the Thames during deposition of the Orsett Heath Gravel
Kennington Park gravel exposures (north end of Kennington Park)
Kennington Park gravel exposures (north end of Kennington Park)

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