In South West England, United Kingdom
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Britain's largest gorge
Cheddar Gorge is a steep, narrow limestone gorge. Gorges are formed in many ways: by caves collapsing, by waterfalls retreating, and by rapid river erosion. Cheddar Gorge was formed by rapid river erosion about 18,000 years ago. As glaciers over Britain melted, huge volumes of melt water were able to erode resistant rocks, such as limestone. The winding road that now runs through the gorge marks the position of the melt water river.
As well being famous for Cheddar Cheese, Cheddar is also home to the famous Cheddar Gorge, and the Cheddar Caves. Cheddar's distinguishing feature is the natural phenomenon of Britain's largest gorge, while The Cheddar Yeo in Gough's Cave is Britain's biggest underground river, and the Gorge Cliffs are Britain's highest inland limestone cliffs.
The Gorge is a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of the calcareous grassland, Karst limestone butresses and Horseshoe Bats. Peregrin falcons nest on the cliff face and soay sheep keep the scrub in check. Gough's Cave is an internationally famous archeological site because of its Late Upper Paleolithic finds (12-13,000 years old) and contained Britian's oldest complete skeleton (9,000 years old). It lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is a candidate for Special Area for Conservation status. The Village of Cheddar has a long and ancient history, having been important Roman and Saxon Centres. As early as 1130 AD, the beauty of the Gorge was recognised as one of the "Four wonders of England".
To log this EarthCache: The co-ordinates will take you to approximately the centre of this amazing feature.To log the Earthcache you need to identify and photograph the highest limestone cliffs in the country which can be found here and post it with your log and email the cache owner with details of how this rock was formed all those years ago. This can all be completed from the public road that disects the gorge with ample free public parking along its length.
(No hints available.)
Last Updated: on 11/17/2017 11:46:14 PM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) (7:46 AM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum