Geologists ‘excited’ by ‘extremely rare’ rock formation discovery

PUBLISHED: 14:00 19 August 2018

Volunteers with the limestone pavement. Picture:  Ian Chambers

Volunteers with the limestone pavement. Picture: Ian Chambers

Ian Chambers

A ‘rare’ geological feature has been unearthed in Backwell.

The limestone pavement. Picture: Ian ChambersThe limestone pavement. Picture: Ian Chambers

Volunteers at the Backwell Environment Trust have been reinstating a public footpath in Badgers Wood, and uncovered an unusual limestone rock formation.

A trust spokesman said: “A limestone pavement is a flat expanse of exposed limestone formed by a combination of chemical weathering and erosion.

“Most limestone pavements in the UK are formed on carboniferous limestone and while there are superb examples in Yorkshire, they are an extremely rare geological feature in the south of England.”

The extensive limestone pavement in Badgers Wood is buried under five to 20cm of soil.

Volunteers have so far exposed an area of limestone measuring 5sq.m, and further work is underway near the top junction at Fern Way.

Test digs suggest the rock formation continues for large parts of the hillside.

Trustee Ian Chambers said: “We’ve recently had some geologists come over to take a look at what we’ve uncovered so far and they are incredibly excited by our discovery as these features just shouldn’t occur this far south – in fact even what we’ve uncovered so far (and there is a lot more to be uncovered) is by a wide margin, the largest outcrop of this rare geological feature in the whole of southern England.”

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