You may have heard or read in the news recently about the new species of small Maniraptorian dinosaur discovered at Bexhill. There is a freely available Paper – click here – describing the species and the vertebral segment is now on display in the Bexhill Museum. This find and research is the latest in the excellent tradition of Palaeontological fieldwork in the Weald, much of which lies within RX country.
Archive for the 'Fossils & Geology' Category
I have just revisited this booklet and, despite its title, has many interesting articles – The Depositional and Landscape Histories of Dungeness Foreland and the Port of Rye
Click here to download.
The recent storms have boken off slabs of moorlog,which now lie scattered along Pett beach. They originate from about 5000 years ago when the sea level was lower and forest extended into what is now Rye Bay. The returning salt water killed then pickled the forest, fallen onto its bed of blue clay, blanketing it with silt.
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Even on cold days this winter it is extraordinary how warm it can be on sheltered areas of the beach and undercliff at Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve. The pale sandstone rocks reflect much of suns heat and standing amongst the fallen boulders at the base of the cliffs can feel like you’re standing next to a warm oven! This probably accounts for the amount of invertebrate life on the wing here recently, providing prey for a small number of black redstarts, pied wagtails and grey wagtails wintering on the undercliff here.
The most notable species on the wing has been the scarce fly Liancalus virens. This colourful fly lives amongst the mosses, liverworts and algae growing under and beside waterfalls and fast running water. The species is very common beside the Ecclesbourne waterfall where the Ecclesbourne stream falls over the cliff edge onto the beach, but can be very difficult to find anywhere else in Sussex.
Dungeness is distinguished by having a number of natural wet hollows in the shingle, that over several centuries have accumulated deep deposits of peat. These support a number of plants that are rare in Kent, infact these natural shingle wetlands are very rare globally. After several decades of neglect, which resulted in much willow invasion, work started on restoring the open unshaded habitats in 1997. Annoyingly very low water levels in 2005 and 2006 resulted in the loss of bog pondweed Potamogeton polygonifolius one of several plants that reappeared following the first round of scrub clearance. This summer’s rain has restored water levels fully and on 19th September it was pleasingly almost impossible to wade into pits that are normally accessible in the summer. There have been good shows of plants typical of these pits this summer such as cotton grass Eriophorum angustifolium, marsh cinquefoil (below) Potentilla palustris, and nationally scarce marsh fern Thelypteris palustris.
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