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ORWELL CLUNCH PIT
An earthcache learning about clunch.
|To claim this earthcache as a find, please email or message the answers via my caching profile. Failure to submit answers will result in logs being deleted without notice.
At the published co-ordinates you will find Orwell Clunch Pit.
Orwell Clunch Pit is a site of some 4.4 acres located on the northern edge of the village in an area also known as Toot Hill. It is accessed via Quarry Lane from the High Street and consists of a central hollow carved into the south-facing hillside, with footpaths on more elevated sections on the surrounding sides leading to a flat plateau area at the northernmost edge. From the top of the Clunch Pit there are commanding views to the south over the low-lying farmland across to Royston and beyond.
Initially a bare quarry, then open grassland which was grazed by cattle, during the nineteen-sixties and seventies the Clunch Pit became severely overgrown by shrubs. These have since been cleared (except around the perimeter areas) to restore the open chalk grassland with its distinctive flora which is now only to be found in a few sites in South Cambridgeshire. Because the site has never been ploughed, it has retained this chalk grassland flora that has vanished from much of the surrounding area due to intensive farming.
The Clunch Pit has not seen any active quarrying now since the nineteen-thirties, and is currently designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to the rich chalk grassland flora and associated butterflies, moths and other insects. It is a significant village amenity which is used both by villagers and visitors for leisure activities.
Orwell Clunch Pit is today a recreational area which supports a rare flora, yet it has clearly been used over hundreds of years as a source of local building stone until the use of brick in residential properties became widespread.
|(1) What is clunch and what is it used for?
(2) What geological period does clunch come from?
(3) Describe the colour and the texture of the clinch?
(4) What gives clunch its texture.
(5) What species of wildflower does the steep south facing slopes provide ideal conditions for? (The answer can be found on the information board).
(6) Estimate the depth of the Clunch Pit by taking an elevation reading at the published co-ordinates and waypoint 1.
(7) Not compulsory but it would be nice if you can upload a photo of yourself or GPS at GZ.
Natural England has kindly allowed permission for publication of this earthcache. Please be aware this is SSSI, you are welcome to walk here, but please keep your dogs under close control and respect the needs of wildlife and other visitors. Please note that dogs must be kept on leads at all times when livestock are grazing in the pit.
(No hints available.)