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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

A-Z Geological Site Index

West Maldon landslip, MALDON, Maldon District, TL845074, Potential Local Geological Site

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Site category: Landform or landslip

Site name: West Maldon landslip

Grid reference: TL 8442 0742 to TL 8471 0737

Brief description of site:

A good example of a London Clay landslip can be seen on the north-facing slope adjacent to the River Blackwater at Maldon. The site is also a Local Wildlife Site and is traversed by a public footpath.



There are three landslips on the north-facing river cliff of the Blackwater at Maldon. The middle and most obvious slip is referred to as the West Maldon Landslip (Bristow 1985, Hutchinson 1965). It is formed of successive rotational slips in the bedrock of London Clay which is trying to reach a stable angle. Most of the slips are grassed over but small fresh scars indicate that there is still instability. The most active landslipping presumably took place when the river was directly eroding the toes of the landslips. The presence of saltings indicate that erosion has not taken place for a number of years (Bristow 1985).

The surface of the landslipped ground is characteristically hummocky and covered with brambles. This could be clearly seen from the Maldon By-pass (see photograph) but now trees have mostly covered the slope.

A public footpath traverses the landslip. The area of the landslip is a Local Wildlife Site (appropriately called Hilly Fields Wildlife Site).

View of the West Maldon landslip looking south. Landslipped London Clay on the south bank of the River Chelmer. The photograph was taken in 1968. The site has now been largely covered with trees and shrubs. Photo: British Geological survey (P210814)


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Reference: Bristow 1985 (p. 86-87), Hutchinson 1965 (p. 35-36).

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