Area: 3.6 hectares.
A new site.
Listed as of national importance in the Geological Conservation Review.
Description and Reasons for Notification:
This site is important for its geological features, and also supports several rare and locally distributed plant and animal species.
The site includes the type section of the Devonian Daddyhole Limestone, displaying the lithological characteristics of this carbonate unit and its rich fauna, particularly of corals. The limestones are noteworthy in containing desiccation cracks; an uncommon feature in the marine Torquay Limestone indicating subaerial exposure. In Daddyhole Cove an alternating sequence of shales and limestones indicates local facies variation in the Late Eifelian, important in interpreting the palaeoecology of the Middle Devonian limestones of the Torbay area. These units are displayed in a large recumbent fold.
The cliffs here support a rich flora characteristic of limestone, with the nationally rare white rock-rose Helianthemum appeninum and small restharrow Ononis reclinata and the nationally scarce ivy broomrape Orobanche hederae, and autumn squill Scilla autumnalis. The nationally rare snail Truncatinella callicratis has been recorded here.