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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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Maylandsea Foreshore (part of Blackwater Estuary SSSI), MAYLANDSEA, Maldon District, TL907035, Site of Special Scientific Interest

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Site category: London Clay, Claygate or Bagshot Beds

Site name: Maylandsea Foreshore (part of Blackwater Estuary SSSI)

Grid reference: TL 907035

Brief description of site:

The foreshore of London Clay at Maylandsea has yielded vast numbers of fossils, particularly crustacean remains such as lobsters (George & Vincent 1982). Selenite (gypsum) crystals can also occasionally be found. The site is included in Blackwater Estuary SSSI.

Extract from SSSI citation:

Within the Blackwater Estuary, at Maylandsea, a section of 'soft rock' coastline has been identified by the Geological Conservation Review as being of national geological importance.

The site, located on the east bank of Lawling Creek, demonstrates the maximum transgressive extent of the London Clay, and contains a deeper-water fish fauna than is found at Sheppey. These sediments make up the deepest water facies known in the London Clay, and the assemblage reflects this, with species, and proportions of species, within the fauna which are not seen at Sheppey or any other site. Twenty-one taxa have been described from here, mainly based on teeth, but including a skull and 'gaping jaws' of Rhinocephalus planiceps.

Collecting fossils at Maylandsea. Photo: G.Lucy


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Reference: George & Vincent 1976, George & Vincent 1982, Rayner et al. 2009 (p. 20), Saward 2015.

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