This is a small roadside cutting, which yields brachiopods and trilobites. The fossils here are poorly preserved in soft mud stones and will require treatment quickly, but it is an ideal location to stop off by the road side with a grass lay-by.
♦ The roadside cutting can be found on the north side of the A489 between Lydham and the Craven Arms. The actual location is just east of Plowden, at the southern end of Long Mynd.
♦ There is a parking space on the opposite side, along a grass bank. The cutting is easy to see, since it is kept well cleared of plants and debris.
♦ Ref: 52.48242°N, 2.88606°W
FIND FREQUENCY: ♦ – Since hammering is not permitted, fossils are not common. They are also fragile and often poorly preserved.
CHILDREN: ♦ – Hillend is not suitable for families, because it is close to a very busy road.
ACCESS: ♦♦♦♦♦ – The location is easy to find, with parking opposite.
TYPE: – Fossils are found in the roadside cutting on the surface of the scree slope.
At Hillend, the Silurian Pentamerus Beds yield many brachiopods (with the eponymous Pentamerus oblongus being the most common) and occasional trilobites. Harder bands of Silurian conglomerate and Longmyndian Sandstone are also packed with shells. Do not hammer the bank, but rather collect from the scree below. There is plenty here to look through, but take care, as this is a very busy road.
The geology is Silurian (Llandovery, Aeronian) and is 433 to 438myrs old.
This location is not suitable for children, as the road is very busy and this cutting is next to the road, making it an extremely dangerous place. Many large lorries pass frequently at high speed. And do not hammer the surface, as hammering is not permitted at this location, mainly because loose rocks could potentially fall onto the road and cause an accident.
Do not hammer the rock face at this location; fossils can be collected from the scree at the bottom. However, any rocks lying around can be split gently with a small hammer, providing that they were already loose and do not pose a threat of falling on the road.
This site is an SSSI. This means you can visit the site, but hammering the bedrock is not permitted. For full information about the reasons for the status of the site and restrictions please download the PDF from Natural England – SSSI Information – Hillend