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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

The Ice Age and D-Day

Originally published on Photoblog by Gethin Thomas AUGUST. 24, 2020

[19-365] 24th August 2020- This is the Slapton Line, in Devon, England. A shingle ridge formed at the end of the last Ice Age which helps form a freshwater lagoon right next to the sea.

100,000 years ago you would have seen elephants, hyenas and giant deer roaming here. 18,000 years ago the ice sheets covering the earth meant the sea was 35Km further out with a chalk and flint beach. As the ice melted and the sea level rose the beach was pushed further back to this point where it formed a ridge, trapping the fresh water coming off the land, about 3,000 years ago.

Fast forward to 1943. Slapton Sands becomes a training ground for the D-Day landings. They are considered the most similar beaches available for training, to those of Normandy, just a few miles away opposite this point.

All the landscape you can see, plus more out of shot, was evacuated and occupied by the military. Residents were given six weeks to move out. Farmers had to also evacuate their livestock, no one could return. All had to be gone by the 20th December. 3000 people were homeless and the evacuation lasted 12 months.

Today it forms a nature reserve. The village in the distance is Torcross.


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