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White Cliffs Earthcache (Kent) EarthCache

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Hidden : 04/27/2007
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Geocache Description:

Welcome to Samphire Hoe! This is one of the newest parts of Kent and probably the best place to view what are arguably the most famous cliffs in Britain.

Parking is signposted from the A20 westbound. Unfortunately the parking is pay & display, but the cliff top footpath, Sustrans cycle route 2 and bus route D2 from Dover all pass by the entrance tunnel through the cliff. Entrance is free and the site is open from 7am to dusk every day. A tea kiosk is open Saturdays and Sundays and every day from Easter to September.

The coordinates above are reached via wheelchair accessible paths along the base of the cliffs. The land manager has asked us to stress that visitors PLEASE KEEP TO THE PATHS for the sake of the wildlife here.

Dover’s famous White Cliffs owe their striking appearance to their composition of chalk, accentuated with streaks of black flint. They are up to 350 feet high in places and are easily visible from France on a clear day. They date back to the Cretaceous period, approximately 136 million years ago. At that time, the area was under water and the chalk was formed from the skeletons of tiny sea creatures, compressed into rock under pressure from the sea. Since then, movements in the earth’s crust have lifted the chalk out of the sea. Chalk is very soft, so the cliffs are gradually being eroded by the sea, continually exposing new rock.

Samphire Hoe is land formed from the material dug during the creation of the Channel Tunnel. 4.9 million cubic metres of rock were dug out from under the English Channel and transported the short distance to the base of Shakespeare Cliff. The land was then sown with wildflowers and grasses and since then, local vegetation has naturally colonised the area, attracting a wide variety of wildlife.

To claim this earthcache you will need to do the following:

1) Post a picture taken at the above coordinates. The picture should ideally include the cliff, some of Samphire Hoe and your GPSr.
2) E-mail us through our profile the answers to these two questions. What sort of rock was dug from under the channel to form Samphire Hoe? What is the scientific term for the bits of sea creature skeleton that form the chalk cliffs? (you might need the internet for this one)

Note: the owners of the site state the paths are wheelchair accessible but there are some short sections that are gradient 1:6. The path along the sea wall is more level but if anyone has difficulty reaching the given coordinates we will accept pictures taken from nearer the car park.

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