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Soft Cliffs & Chines

Soft rocks, such as clays and sandstones, erode relatively quickly creating slumped cliff faces, which gradually become vegetated. These cliffs are typically found on the southwest and southeast coast of the Island are important for the wildlife. They are also rich in dinosaur and other fossils, which unravel the environment as it was 120 million years ago. The slumping cliffs contain ‘chines’. A chine is a steep-sided valley through soft cliffs, where a stream flows down to the sea. Historically chines were important as they gave people access to the shore below the cliff. They are also good places for wildlife to live.