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natural environment of broughton -in -furness...

Duddon Estuary
Near Foxfield, the River Duddon flows into the open expanse of its estuary and splits into several channels that weave their way between mudflats and sand bars before entering the Irish Sea. Fringing the edges are salt marshes, raised mires and extensive sand dune systems. The diverse range of estuarine habitats attracts huge numbers of breeding, migratory and overwintering birds and holds a quarter of the UK's breeding population of natterjack toads.

Duddon Mosses
The raised mires around the Duddon estuary are of national and international importance. Raised mires occur in areas of high rainfall and consist of extensive areas of sphagnum moss over wet peat, often fringed by willow or alder carr. Historically, the Duddon mosses were dug for peat as a fuel or drained to create agricultural land, but they have been protected since 1987. The mosses support distinct rare assemblages of plant and animal life, including sundews, bog rosemary, large heath butterflies, adders, rare moths and dragonflies, barns owls and red deer, but need careful management to keep the water table at a consistent level. Access to Angerton Moss is along a raised path/boardwalk from the Cumbrian Coastal Way footpath, and forms part of a circular walk from Foxfield Station. For more details, contact the site manager on 015395 31604.

Donkey Rock Geology Area (SD 211 868)
This is a regionally important geological site to the south of Broughton. Quarrying has exposed a wall of ancient Silurian rock, stained red by haematite or iron ore, with strange rounded bumps on its surface, known as ‘sole structures'. This area was once a shallow tropical sea. Currents in the water created hollows on the ocean floor that, over time, filled with iron-rich deposits that hardened into solid rock, a process that was repeated several times. Earth movements later pushed the layers of rock into a vertical position. Quarrying has stripped away the older rocks to reveal the underside of the overlying layers exposing protuberances that were previously filled hollows in the older rock layers.

 
 
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