Sunday, 19 January 2014

Time exposed

Trips up to Hauxley the last two weeks have produced little on the birding front however walking back along the beach the impact of the recent surge tides on the dunes is pretty evident. Along the whole stretch about one meter of dune has collapsed leaving the coal seam below exposed as a shelf sitting on its plinth of boulder clay.
Large clumps of grass lie on top of the coal shelf and rabbit holes are exposed to view. Any Sand Martin colony nest site will have been completely lost as had been anticipated by the NWT at Hauxley when they built their artificial colony.
The coal seam varies from nil to almost 2ft and I presume is the Bondicar seam. This is near the northernmost limit of the Northumbrian coalfield at Amble hence the seam being so close to the surface and of poor quality coal.
Indeed near the headland there are whole stumps and trunks of ancient trees poking out of the seam. I wonder how long it was since this tree was in leaf.

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