At the eastern-most end of Whiteford National Nature Reserve are beds, banks and spits of pebbles – overlain by and intermixed with wind-blown sand and tidal drifted seashells. Here the three main types of rock represented by the pebbles are Carboniferous limestone, Old Devonian red sandstone, and Millstone Grit – all part of the local Gower geology.

However, this was an area affected by glaciation – with the ice sheet terminating in this vicinity. Many different kinds of rock were brought to this place by the ice as it moved southward across the British Isles – scouring the geology in the process. Huge boulders, smaller rocks and stones, and finer sands and gravel were deposited in Gower and in this location when the ice eventually melted and the ice sheet receded. So, amongst the Whiteford pebbles are stranger stones from further afield.

One of the characteristics of the Whiteford pebbles at the eastern end of the NNR is that many are smoothed by wear but mostly flattened, disc-like, rather than rounded and sub-spherical. In many places, they approximate in shape to the very large, thick, heavy, old empty oyster shells that are scattered in their midst.



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