Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The Stokenchurch Gap

I've just got back from a visit to my parents' house up north. One of the best bits about the journey up there is the drive up the M40. We go through the Chilterns, and a Site of Special Scientific Interest - the Stokenchurch Gap.

I was in the rare position of being in the passenger seat and having my smartphone to hand for photos. It was also not raining, snowing or foggy.

It's known as the Aston Rowant Cutting on Natural England's citation, and it is protected for the following reasons:
A stratigraphically important site providing the best Coniacian section in central England, part of the Upper Chalk succession. Above the Chalk rock exposed at the base of the cutting there is a late Turonian to basal Coniacian section of coarse grained nodular chalk, extremely rich in fossils and important in defining the boundary between Turonian and Coniacian age rocks.
It's late Cretaceous, containing a number of marine organisms.

It would be lovely to explore, but I imagine the combination of the SSSI and its location next to one of the busier motorways in the UK makes it fairly inaccessible.

However, with views like this, and such impressive chalk geology rising up on both sides, I'm content to drive through it every few months.

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