Esker, St John’s in the Vale

What seems an iconic Lakeland scene. A dry stoned wall barn nestling next to a knoll in fields of sheep pasture. And of course a mist-shrouded Skiddaw in the distance. The view is from the B5322 as it heads south through St John’s in the Vale towards Ambleside. What is of interest is the knoll. It is actually termed an esker, a landform created by the glacier that flowed down the valley. Eskers are composed of accumulated sand and gravel deposited by meltwater channels, flowing either below, within or on top of the glacier. When the ice finally melted the sand and gravel was left on the ground in the form of a long winding ridge, esker derives from the Irish word for a ridge: eiscir. Eskers can be hundreds of kilometres in length but this one is a couple of hundred.
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