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Blue Bell Hill picnic site is a stunning viewpoint that looks out across the Medway valley and to the Weald.


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Blue Bell Hill and Culand Pits

Blue Bell Hill picnic site is a stunning viewpoint that looks out across the Medway valley and to the Weald, when you stand here you are standing on relatively younger rocks and looking out over older rocks stretching back to over 100 million years old.  

The Medway valley that you can see from here has been hugely important to the cement industry since around 1850, and many of the villages and towns in this area developed because of the industry.

As you look out from Blue Bell Hill, in the foreground you can see some large excavated areas, these are the Culand Pits. The Culand Pits are great examples of sites connected to the cement industry, once upon a time clay was extracted for bricks and this was followed by chalk for the cement industry. The pits are now recognised for their geological significance as part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), in particular due to the marine and reptile fossils that have been found here. 

Find out more about Culand Pits

Managed by Kent Wildlife Trust, this site also includes Burham Down, which is home to special chalk grassland species. This Geosite encapsulates much of what is important in the Cross-Channel Geopark, as it is a great place to understand how the landscape evolved and was formed over millions of years, and how humans have interacted with this geodiversity. Nowadays we can see how these former industrial sites can be important for protecting and restoring biodiversity thanks in part to the unique geology that can be found here.  

About Geosites

Geosites are sites of geological interest across the aspiring UNESCO Cross-Channel Global Geopark, where people can visit and interact with our geological heritage. This wide range of sites will offer varying opportunities and values including cultural, heritage, scientific, educational, and aesthetic.

Folkestone pebbled beach, blue sea and clear skies, with cliffs in the distance.

Geopark logo on white background

About the aspiring UNESCO Cross-Channel Global Geopark

Hundreds of thousands of years ago a catastrophic flood swept away the chalk ridge connecting Dover and Calais, carving out the white cliffs of Dover and starting Britain’s history as an island.

Did you know the Kent and French coasts are actually still connected today by the layer of chalk which runs below the Channel?

In celebration of the chalk and the channel, we are working to secure UNESCO Cross-Channel Global Geopark status for the Kent Downs National Landscape together with our neighbouring protected landscape in France; the Parc Naturel Regional des Caps et Marais d’Opale.

The Geopark will include both the protected landscapes and the Channel connecting them, recognising and celebrating the geological connection between us.

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