Chalk like cheescake
Norfolk is one of the most beautiful counties in the UK (and it has the tourist numbers to prove it). The landscapes that make it so popular vary from the ‘uplands’ (by Norfolk standards!) of North West Norfolk, to the North Norfolk coast, to the Brecks to the Broads. All of these are (of course!) underpinned and shaped by their local geology – which is beautifully exposed along several sections of the coast. Hunstanton with its unique cliffs and gingerbread buildings, West Runton with its quaint village, amazing geology and loudly-braying donkey and Holkham with its tranquillity are among my favourite bits of the coast in question, the first two for their Earth science interest and Holkham for its marsh harriers and spoonbills.
West Runton is one of the most interesting geological locations in the country due to the paramoudras on the Chalk foreshore, the rafted chalk in the cliffs, the Quaternary Cromer Forest Beds where the ‘West Runton Elephant’ (actually a steppe mammoth) was discovered and excavated, and due to the record of changing Ice Age climates and environments in the cliffs that demonstrate three cold stages and two interglacials, and the ice wedge(s) – I only remember seeing one but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more! There was so much to fascinate me each time I’ve been there, but for some reason it was this yellow chalk that caught my eye on one visit. It is a very hard chalk, but it looks for all the world as though you could cut a chunk off with a cheesewire and put it in a dish for pudding. When you look at it, you really think it should taste of lemon!
Oh – and the eagle-eyed among you may have spotted that this is the photo I currently use as the header on my Twitter page (www.twitter.com/greengeology).