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Norfolk is renowned for its big skys and Flat marshy countryside however, travel away from the steriotypical flat Broadland Marshes and across the fertile farmland and head North towards Cromer and the land steadily rises untill within a mile of the coast the land plummets several hundred feet towards the sea. This area is made up of Sands and gravels evidence of a huge climate change in the past when norfolk was at the boundaries of the last ice advance in the Ice Age. The area between Overstrnd Running through Cromer Sheringham and Westwards towards Weybourne and Blakeney this area of high Ground Pine woods and Heathland is known as the Cromer Holt ridge and reaches over 300 feet in many areas.The area is mainly sands and gravels and is the results of melting waters at the end of the glacial advance features such as Muckleburgh hill at Kelling are classic geographical examples
WeThink of Global Warming as just a modern phenomenum however the earths climate is ever changing the Ice Ages were a major negative turn however this cold period was not a single event but a whole series of Freezing and Warming episodes Long periods of thousands of years of Pack Ice were suddenly punctuated by warmer periods than now where animals such as Hyena, Hippos,Brown Bears and Elephants and Beaver were abundant in the area in this period when the Cromer area was the natural habitat for such creatures the area was a had a large fresh water river flowing through it this river deposited a peaty layer (known as the "Cromer Forest Beds" which over time built up and is still visable in several areas along the coast at the base of the cliff under the glacial sands and clays.The best place to see this layer is at West Runton.on walking down the slipway turn right and walk for a hundred yards or so and the deposit will show between landslips.The peaty layer can when weathered heavily in the winter reveal fossils of the above animals more commenly fresh water snails (gastropods) and Fresh water mussel fragments show.Please note Fossil hunting on the Beach is not a problem however thesite is a Site of Special Scientific interest so digging in the cliffs is prohibited as well as being dangerous.
Amber is the fossilised sap of trees 40 million years ago; much glamorised by the film Jurassic Park. It originates in Scandinavia ,however in this period called the Eocene period a river carrying the remains of the Amber bearing trees ran from this area southwards into what is now the North Sea.The proximity of the river bed to the Norfolk Coast and the big push of glaciaction from the north and Scandinavia has helped bring this Amber down to the Norfolk Coast along with the fact that Amber floats and can actually float from the Baltic to the North Sea!amber tends to be washed up in Norfolk in the Winter storms although it can be found at other times of year.