St. Erth Pits geological nature reserve
St. Erth Pit is Cornwall’s first geological nature reserve. Formally known as Harvey’s Pit, the reserve was originally a clay pit and was worked as such from about 1834 until the early 1950’s.
The clay from the area was highly regarded and even world-renowned St. Ives based potter Bernard Leach frequently purchased it.
The abundant fossil fauna, first recorded at the site in 1881 is dominated by sea snails and molluscs suggesting a late Pliocene date (2-5 million years ago) and the reserve forms part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It is also a Regionally Important Geological site RIGS).
Wildlife has now invaded the once bare ground of the worked pits and the area is now dominated by semi-mature woodlands, mainly sycamore, grey willow, hazel and holly trees.
SEF are the Reserve Guardian for St Erth Pits, we are passionate about wanting to preserve and protect this diverse and precious nature reserve in the heart of west Cornwall.