Fern House Gravel Pit SSSI
reference: SU 883
of site: 1.3 ha;
location and parking:
Access from the A4155 Marlow to
Disused gravel pit. Slumping and vegetation growth has obscured some of the
lower faces; a section has been cleared in the past to reveal a 5 m high face
The SSSI notification is for the Quaternary sequence of gravels. These are the
Taplow Gravel Formation and they are important for the stratigraphy and
understanding of the Quaternary history of the
and potential educational use
(geology, ecology, archaeology, industrial archaeology):
No current use is intended of the site for educational groups, except for
Quaternary specialists undertaking geological research. However, it has great
potential for the training of geologists (at all levels) and would have appeal
for geological site visits if the clear face is maintained. However, due to the
importance of the site as an SSSI numerous group visits would not be
To maintain the integrity of the Taplow Gravels by preventing vegetation
re-growth on the slopes.
to site (present and future): Vegetation is the main threat to the gravel structure and also to access
of the face. Sedimentary structures would be damaged by tree root or other root
penetration. Infill would be a major threat without SSSI protection.
(basic risk assessment): Low gradient and slumped slopes make access easy and safe, although not
always good exposures as the slumped material obscures the lower face. Parking
and a trackway make a safe entry to the site.
D. R. 1993. Fern House Gravel Pit. In: The Pleistocene Quaternary of
. Chapman and Hall.
C. E. 1912. On diversions of the Bourne near Chertsey. Summary of
progress, Geological Survey of Great Britain, for 1911, 74-7.
P. L. 1985. The Pleistocene History of the
R. L. and Noble, A. H. 1922. The Geology of the country around Beaconsfield.
Memoir of the Geological Survey of
L. 1916. Excursion to Bourne End. Proceedings of the Geologistsí
Association, 45, 107-8.
J. J. 1968. Lower Palaeolithic Archaeology in Britain, as represented by
Liaise with Natural England to enquire as to the potential for group visits for
BEHG and invited geologists.