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The geology at Nosterfield has captured rare information about the past environment. Natural features known as 'swallow holes' are present in the landscape and act as traps for plant debris, insects, pollen and sometimes animals which helps to reconstruct what the environment was like. Analysis of environmental samples from a swallow hole has been undertaken at Stirling University. The hole contained plants and insects dating back to post-glacial times. The jaw bone (below) may be that of an elk, a species now extinct in Britain.
Jaw bone, probably belonging to an elk.
Recent work at Nosterfield has provided the opportunity to collaborate with research projects such as the Swale/Ure Washland Project (SUWP). Research Associates from the Geography Department at Durham University have been taking environmental samples in order to gain information about what the environment used to be like at the quarry.