Geology of the Ovingdean Cliffs

The cliffs at Ovingdean are chalk, fronted by a classic chalk shore platform created by the retreat of a cliff under constant attack by a combination of frost, rain, salt winds, pebble abrasion and wave action.

From the undercliff walk there is a good view of the cliff profile showing parallel bands of flint in the Sussex White Chalk. The shore is composed of the eroded foot of the cliff covered with sand and loose flint shingle.

The Undercliff Walk, designed by Borough Engineer David Edwards as a public amenity, was begun in 1928 and opened in July 1933. It was also part of coastal defences needed to resist marine erosion of the cliffs and was extended to the borough boundary in 1935. The Undercliff Walk is now 3.35 miles long and forms part of a 7.5 mile promenade from Portslade to Saltdean.

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