What’s on : Cafe-scientifique
Towards UNESCO Geopark Status for East Yorkshire
Paul Thornley, Chair, YPS Geology Group
Why a UNESCO Global Geopark?
The Historic East Yorkshire area has been intensively studied over the past 150 years for its archaeological, biological and geological aspects of the region, some of which are of international acclaim and importance.
The Yorkshire Wolds forms the most northernmost outcrop of the Cretaceous English Chalk and forms an underlying aquifer. It forms a proud outcrop from Hessle, adjacent to the Humber Estuary in the southwest, which arcs round to the chalk cliffs of Flamborough Head on the north-sea coast with a prominent north- and west-facing Chalk escarpment, 200m in elevation, deeply incised by steep meandering ‘dry valleys’. The ‘lower country’ of Holderness is composed of Devensian glacial tills, with its subdued, undulating topography, 1-2m in elevation, covered by a glacial deposit over 50m thick.
The Humber Estuary to the south is one of the largest tidal estuaries in England. It is crossed by the Humber Bridge, from Hessle, which links East Riding to Lincolnshire.
This contrasts with the surrounding Vales and Plains with river systems flowing through landscapes of former glacial lakes sitting on ancient Jurassic strata.
The proposed area has the highest density of archaeological sites from the prehistoric period in Britain: chariot burials, square barrow cemeteries and others and later abandoned medieval villages. Both Wharram Percy and the Pocklington Iron Age cemetery represent sites of particular importance, due to the rare artefacts found, allowing academic researchers to investigate the history, cultural and religious practices and diet of both medieval Britain and the Arras tradition
The area contains important ecological habitats (such as meres and wetlands). Both the Hornsea Mere and Holderness Inshore MCZ are of particular importance, due to the immense influence of geological processes, and the range of habitats and species they support, such as edible crab, common lobster and butterfish. The area is famous for its birdlife: Bempton Cliffs with its sea birds and the Lower Derwent Valley and Spurn Point with its great flocks of migratory waders.
This event will be hosted on Zoom and invitations will be sent to everyone on the YPS Mailing List.