Orwell Clunch Pit was designated a Local Geological Site in October 2021. The pit is also an SSSI for its chalk grassland flora. It is owned and managed by the Parish Council and is an attractive local ‘greenspace’ with wonderful views across the Rhee Valley to the chalk hills near the county border.
The chalk in the pit is the West Melbury Marly Chalk, the lowest of the Chalk strata and known as being clay rich and less permeable than the overlying purer Chalk. Although not know for its quality as a building stone, as shown by the history of this pit, some of the ‘clunch’ quarried here was good enough for use in some local buildings such as the church.
The site is of particular geological value for the periglacial features at the top of the Chalk cliff, which include brecciated Chalk within which there are involutions filled with Glacial Till of Anglian age. More info here.