Summer Field Programme - 1 September 2018

South Landing/Skipsea or Mappleton: Pleistocene glacial geology

Rodger Connell (University of Hull)

Saturday 1st September 2018, 10.30am – South Landing (Flamborough) and Skipsea Withow Gap (North Holderness)

Leader: Rodger Connell

Purpose: To visit and examine the evidence for “early” glaciation of Flamborough Head and Holderness during the last ice sheet glaciation (South Landing) and also the evidence for climate warming since the retreat of the ice sheet (Skipsea Withow Gap).

Access: The trip is suitable for participants in good health and with good mobility. Access from the car park at South Landing to the beach is by tarmacked roadway. 80m ascent/descent with some 1.2 km walk in total. The top of the beach at South Landing is composed of large chalk cobbles locally covered by seaweed – care is required when walking. For the Skipsea Withow Gap site we will have a walk of 1.0 km to the beach along a grass path. Whilst generally good footing it can be wet if it has rained.

Logistics: Meet at the Living Seas Centre car park at South Landing, (south of Flamborough village), YO15 1AE (TA 231 695) at 10.30 am. SIGN IN. Parking charges apply. Toilets available at the Living Seas Centre. Mobile phone signal may be poor. Please bring a packed lunch and drink. After our visit to South Landing we will drive via Bridlington (A165 and B1242) to Southfield House farm (Also Mr Moos ice cream parlour and café) just south of Skipsea village at TA 176 546 (YO25 8SY). Park there and walk to the beach. Toilets available at Mr Moos. Hope to finish by 3.30pm.

Health and Safety: Hard hat essential. Please do not come without one. The chief hazards are those normally associated with excursions along beaches with adjacent cliffs.

  • Rock falls: Cliff sections are unstable, particularly after heavy rain or during high winds. Even minor cascades of small stones may cause very serious injury or death. Approaching the cliff face must be avoided at all times.
  • Rough and Slippey Terrain: At South Landing the upper beach is composed of large chalk cobbles often covered by seaweed. This zone can be unstable under foot and slippery. Care must be taken when traversing these areas. Wear appropriate footwear with good grip.
  • Tides: High 08.38 BST, Low 14:38pm, High 21:19pm. High 5.6m
  • Weather: Consult weather forecast and bring appropriate clothing. Recommend bringing waterproof clothing, sun hat and sun block, and plenty of water.

Itinerary: Walk ~300m from the car park down the road to the beach taking care on the upper beach cobbles. We will first walk east to East Nook to examine the chalk bedrock and any visible fossils. The site is a SSSI – so no hammering or collecting from the cliffs. Walking back west towards Quay Hole and the central cliff we will be able to examine the oldest glacial sediments in the bay. We will be able to examine the grain size and erratic content of these beds and suggest how they were deposited. Walking further west (towards West Nook and the life boat station) we will be able to examine further beds resting on a chalk platform – possibly similar in age to that at Sewerby (though there it is overlain by last interglacial beach deposits with elephant and hippopotamus bones!). Here we can examine the deposits and contrast their composition with those seen earlier. Above these sediments the cliffs can be badly slumped but usually exposes a range of sediments capped by Skipsea Till – deposited as the last ice sheet overrode Flamborough Head. We will walk back up the road to the car park and drive to Skipsea.

If you want to go on the field trip please contact Tim Burnhill at

Participants should wear stout footwear and clothing suitable for wet weather conditions and rucksacks to keep hands free when walking. Hard hats are required for quarry and cliff base visits where advised. Please Note: RGG will not be able to provide hard hats – please bring your own.