Worcester Park, Greenhithe, Kent

Worcester Park Worcester Park

These two photos courtesy of Kent Online and In Your Area respectively.

Worcester Park
This municipal park in Greenhithe, Kent is the site of a former chalk quarry. As such, the Northern edge of the park is bounded by what could be termed "White Cliffs of Greenhithe" reaching up to 80- feet high which are approached via a pleasant woodland walk past hills and outcrops of Thanet Sand. The chalk here dates from the Upper Cretaceous and is largely unfossiliferous but casts of sponges are present in some flint nodules and occasional marine bivalve shells can be found in the Thanet Sand beds of the Paleocene.
CopyrightStone Museum of Geology

Chalk Thanet Sand
Cretaceous Chalk - CopyrightStone Museum of Geology Thanet Sand - CopyrightStone Museum of Geology

Following a rockfall in February 2021, visible in the left hand photograph is a "Solution Pipe" - the brown section at the top of the picture. There are conflicting theories about how these "pipes" are formed but the most credible at present
seems to be that groundwater percolates down through the chalk along joints or small fractures and very slowly dissolves the chalk. This allows overlying later deposits to slump down and fill the space - in this case, the Thanet Sands.

Chalk Nodule Pyrite
CopyrightStone Museum of Geology

If you are lucky, chalk nodules such as this can be found containing dark spots. These are inclusions of the mineral Iron Pyrites. The photomicrograph on the right shows a close up of one of these spots with the individual crystals clearly visible. Pyrites are a sulphide mineral and as such the yellow "halo" staining the chalk around these crystals are where rainwater has dissolved sulphur from them. As with all sulphide minerals, eventually the sulphur joins with the rainwater to form a weak sulphuric acid which will over time, if not collected and preserved, completely destroy the specimen.

The park is open 24/7 and can be accessed from the far end of Steele Avenue (DA9 9PH), Cowley Avenue (DA9 9QA) and Church Path (DA9 9BH). There is very limited on-street parking in Church Path. Parking is available in marked bays both in Steele Avenue and Cowley Avenue on Monday-Friday but this is restricted to 4 hours between 8am and 4pm. There are no time restrictions at weekends.

Contact Dartford Borough Council for further information about the park.