Beachcombing Runswick Bay with Chris Whitehead
There are reports of Shap Granite boulders on the seabed of the Tees Bay. These boulders were transported by a glacier during the Late Devensian glaciation about 30,000 years ago. They originate from a granite outcrop on the fells just south of the village of Shap in Cumbria.
I picked up these two lovely fossils fragments yesterday from the beach at Marske.
This is a fragment of a large ammonite. The chambers within the ammonite have been mineralised, the sea has eroded the fossil along its suture lines.
This piece of limestone contains the fossilised remains of corals that lived on the bed of a warm sea during the Carboniferous period 325 million years ago.
This is the cloud that decided to shed its load on to us.
Fossil Bivalve, Blue Ball from Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station, Fossil Wood, Dead Fox
Escaping the crowds of Saltburn we headed to Cattersty Sands. Skinningrove has none of the seaside amusements of it’s neighbour so sees far less visitors, what it does have is a beautiful beach and a very good fish and chip shop which sadly was closed today.
Iron was mined here before the discovery of the main seams in the hills at Eston and prior to mining, iron-rich stone was collected from the beaches at Hummersea. An ironworks was established above the town in the late nineteenth century to process the local iron ore with coal and limestone imported from County Durham. The slag from the furnaces was poured onto the cliffs and also used as a building material in and around the village. The cliffs are an impressive site and are now home to nesting Fulmars and Jackdaws.
The names Cattersty, Hummersea and Skinningrove are all Scandinavian in origin. The cliffs to the south of the village are the highest on the east coast. Archaeologist Dr. Steve Sherlock’s work at nearby Street House has revealed evidence of occupation since at least 3900BC.
The Skinningrove/Loftus area does not see a great many visitors compared to other parts of our district but it has a fascinating landscape and rich history, all well worth seeking out. If none of this interests you and you just fancy a walk on a mile of so of beautiful uncluttered beach I’d recommend a trip to Cattersty.
If you want to learn more about Dr. Sherlock’s work at Street House there is a video here of him giving an online lecture at the Royal Archaeological Institute.
I hear and smell the beach before I see it.
The air still carries a charge from the storm.
A primary school teacher once told me that small children are noticeably more excitable during a storm
If the knot is undone, turn for home. If the knot remains, keep walking.
Things that you will always find on my local beach
A single shoe
Disposable cigarette lighters
Plastic drink bottles
Lumps of expanding foam