The recent spate of bad weather has revealed numerous ancient forests in several beaches throughout Cornwall & Devon. In Penzance, Geologists believe that remains of extensive forests that stretched across Mounts Bay some 4,000 – 6,000 years ago, were exposed after sand was ripped up by a series of storms that battered the Cornish coastline in the new year.
Remains of other ancient forests can also be seen on Portreath beach and Daymar Bay in Cornwall, aswell as Bigbury Bay in Devon. The storms not only revealed trunks of oak and pine, but also remains of hazel thickets, cob nuts and acorns that have been washed out of streams running across the beaches.
These ancient forests were growing around four or five thousand years ago when the climate was slightly warmer, and reveal evidence of changes as they were submerged with water as the sea level rose.
The stormy weather also uncovered a few more surprises throughout Cornwall and Devon. Wartime explosives and the remains of SS Belhem which sank at Northcott mount Nr Bude have been found, and the Royal Navy also had to remove an unexploded World War II device from Crow Point beach in Devon.
Elsewhere, iron age remains and Romano-British pottery have been found in cliffs and a ditch in Challaborough in south Devon. Tidal movements are expected to cover the ancient forests with sand yet again over the coming weeks.