Product has been added to the basket
Item has been added to bibliography

Home Counties: Wing Leicestershire

29 May 2019
Add to my calendar
Event type:
Contributes to CPD, Lecture
Organised by:
Home Counties North Regional Group
Room B154, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield
Event status:

The Forgotten SSSI  

A new assessment of the Wing Interglacial deposits

The Wing SSSI site lies 13 km west of Stamford Lincolnshire and about 1 km east of the village centre and contains one of the most complete sequences of interglacial peat in the country. 

The aim of the presentation is to rekindle interest in the site which has so many facets.

  • These include the formation of the basin in which the peat is deposited.
  • The peat and its pollen and vegetation
  • The difficulties in assigning a convincing chronology to the peat and the preceding period of glaciation.
  • Attention will be drawn to recent studies on the glaciers of west Greenland where there are processes, which might help to explain the topography of the Wing site
  • Valley bulging cambering and strike slip faulting which are phenomena of the area, may also be explained
  • Comments on the conservation aspects of the site and conclusions

Further detail

Although the Wing SSSI site contains the most complete section of any Eemian (Ipswichian) peat deposit in Britain, it is not often referred to in the literature. The deposits do lie at depth and below the water table and the surface is now covered by a car park. 

These factors make it physically difficult to investigate the site further. 

It appears that published information on the deposits apart from A Hall’s assessment of the botanical content of the peat, leaves much to be desired and as such, definitive conclusions have not yet been drawn. Even the peat, as Hall found, presented problems when compared to the accepted Ipswichian model. 

Hall also maintains the V shaped depression with steep straight sides, in which the deposits were found, was a glacially eroded basin cut through the Northampton Sand Ironstone and the material below the peat was plastered in the basin as lodgement till.

Valley bulging, cambering and strike slip faulting are phenomena of the area. The origin of these features has been explained as periglacial. 

In this hypothesis, water penetrates the joints of the Northampton Ironstone Sand and on freezing the ice widens them into gulls and pushes them towards the valleys.

Hall suggests that the superficial structures are associated with the period of the advance of the glacier whereas the evidence from West Greenland could give an alternative age and associate them with the melting of the ice sheet and the formation of the valleys.

All these factors have conspired up to now to make it difficult to understand the peat and its context in the Quaternary Geology of the area. 

On top of all this, C R Bristow and F. Cox 1973, have suggested the Hoxnian and Ipswichian deposits in East Anglia are closer in time than has been thought hitherto, and that the main glaciation of East Anglia is the penultimate (Wolstonian-Saalian).  

The dating methods originally used to date the marine cut benches of Bermuda have from studies on cave stalagmites in China indicated a period as short as 167 years for the complete change in climatic conditions at the end of the Saalian (Wolstonian) Period.


Tom Power BSc FGS

Formerly senior engineering geologist with John Laing Construction.


6:00pm for refreshments with the lecture beginning at 6:30pm and it is expected to finish by 8:00pm.


This event is free of charge, but registration is essential as there are only 48 seats available in the venue.  

Priority will be given to Fellows, Candidate Fellows and Juniors of the Geological Society who are members of the Home Counties North Regional Group. 

Please book your places on a first-come-first-served basis by e-mail to

Further details

People travelling to the University by car, train, bus, cycle, etc.: See the Map

Please note that visitors should come via the Main College Lane Campus Entrance and park in car parks B, C, D or E. 

Parking at College lane campus is free after 5:30pm


Room B154
University of Hertfordshire
College Lane
AL10 9AB

Room B154 is close to the Main Reception of College Lane.