Hartlepool Submerged Forest

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Hartlepool Submerged Forest
Site of Special Scientific Interest
Image Hartlepoolsubmergedforest.jpg
The site of the submerged forest in 2007
Country England
Region North East
Unitary Authority Hartlepool
Location Hartlepool
 - coordinates 54°40′34″N 1°11′34″W / 54.67611°N 1.19278°W / 54.67611; -1.19278Coordinates: 54°40′34″N 1°11′34″W / 54.67611°N 1.19278°W / 54.67611; -1.19278
Area 19.7 ha (48.7 acres)
Notification 1988
Managed by Natural England
Area of Search Cleveland
Interest Geological
Locator Red.svg
Durham outline map with UK (2009).png
Website : Map of site

Hartlepool Submerged Forest (grid reference NZ520315) is a 19.7 hectare geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Cleveland, England notified in 1988. The site is located to the south of Hartlepool Docks.

A forest stretching for several miles along the Hartlepool coast is thought to have originated around 7,000 years ago. It became submerged as sea levels rose over the next five millennia, but remains preserved to this day as a peaty soil, intermittently revealed on the foreshore by the ebb and flow of the tide. Animal bones, including those of deer and wild boar have been discovered at the site, as well as flint tools and other implements pointing to human activity in the area thousands of years ago. These have been analysed by scientists hoping to understand the environment that existed in the area before the forest was submerged.

The site is also considered to be of significant importance in understanding sea level and environmental changes since the last Ice Age, and is identified as such in the Geological Conservation Review.

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