Hinkley Point

At Hinkley Point, you can find complete fish and complete reptile skeletons exposed on the foreshore. Reptile and fish remains can also be found in the cliff or on the foreshore such as vertebras, scales or ribs. There are also ammonites and shells to be found too.

DIRECTIONS

♦ The old access route was to drive to the Hinkey Point Powerstation Visitor Centre. This however has closed and there is NO access from Hinkley Point. However access can be made from Knighton.
♦ Knighton is poorly signposed. The best way is to drive to Stogursey and from here you will see a signpost to Burton. At Burton village, a small narrow road leads to Knighton. It is signposed on the Right and side as ‘Knighton’ across the wall. This cannot be seen if driving from Shurton and is easily missed!
♦ Follow the road all the way through the village. The road will come to a left hand bend, through a farm track. Follow the farm track up and over the hill, and up and over the next hill. You will see a large sign saying vehicles are not permitted past this point. There is plenty of parking spaces here, and you need to walk the remaining track.
♦ Continue to follow the farm track by foot all the way until you reach the cliff. Walk RIGHT all the way until the cliff dips. Here you can easily ascend to the shore. Carry on walking RIGHT along the foreshore.
♦ Ref: 51.20476°N, 3.16133°W

PROFILE INFO

FIND FREQUENCY: ♦♦♦ – This location is highly productive during winter storms for reptile and fish remains, but ammonites and shells are less common.
CHILDREN: ♦♦♦ – Although this location is suitable for families, it is most suited to the fossil enthusiast because most of the fossils can only be found during the winter storms and high tides.
ACCESS: ♦♦♦ – Access to the beach can be made via Knighton. Access used to be via the visitor centre at Hinkley point, but this has since closed.
TYPE: – This is a foreshore and cliff location, so fossils can be found in both. The vast majority of fossils are found exposed on the foreshore after high tides, or exposed on the foreshore during scouring conditions.

FOSSIL HUNTING

Ichthyosaurus skeletons and remains are very common along this stretch of coastline. The photos on this page show slabs of exposed Ichthyosaurus which is currently undergoing preparation. The skeleton is believed to be 3/4’s complete and will take months before it is ready for display. Shells, Ammonites, Belemnites are also found at Hinkley point. Fish remains or sometimes complete fish are also found exposed on the foreshore and fish remains are often found in the shale of the same zone as the reptile remains. At the base of the cliff, bones can be found in the first metre above normal beach height. Often after high tides, these bones can be found by walking along near the base (please take extra care of falling rocks). By far the most likely place to find fossils is on the foreshore. Ammonites are mostly found this way, but areas of shale can also yield reptile remains or whole skeletons.

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GEOLOGY

The Jurassic Blue Lias at Hinkley Point are rich in reptile remains. This is the earliest of the blue Lias and further along the coast at Lilstock, the Triassic can be found at the base of the cliff.

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SAFETY

Common sense when collecting at all locations should be taken and knowledge of tide times should always be noted. You can easily be cut off by the tide as the sea always reaches parts of the cliff.

There are regular cliff falls along this part of the coast, keep well away from the base of the cliff.

EQUIPMENT

Hinkley is a bit of an unpredictable location, sometimes you can come away with nothing and other times buckets full. Much depends on beach conditions, but always take the right tools or one day you’ll get caught out!

PLEASE NOTE: Hinkley Point Power Station has some of the highest security measures, if you plan to visit via the station, you will need to contact the station prior to your visit or go to the reception. If you fail to do this, you may have a visit from security guards.

ACCESS RIGHTS

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

It is important to follow our ‘Code of Conduct’ when collecting fossils or visiting any site. Please also read our ‘Terms and Conditions

LINKS

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