Neutral Farm Pit is a classic Red Crag geological site that is easy to access. The face is showing some signs of being overgrown, but there is still a good area to collect shells from. The pit is near the village of Butley.
♦ Neutral Farm is to the east of Butley. There is a public footpath at the farm, which takes you to the pit, which is in hidden amongst trees and is a little overgrown. Therefore, you may have to make a clearing through the undergrowth to get to the cliff face.
♦ This site is situated on private land, so you must get permission to visit or join on an organised group.
♦ Ref: 52.10689°N, 1.46100°E
FIND FREQUENCY: ♦♦♦ – You will certainly find a wide range of Red Crag shells at this site, and you are sure to come away with a nice collection. However, bone fragments are not so common. You can also find small sharks’ teeth from time to time.
CHILDREN: ♦♦ – Quarries and pits, either working or disused, are no places for children as they present many dangers. Therefore, this location is not recommended for children.
ACCESS: ♦♦♦ – Neutral Farm is easy to find, but may be overgrown. It is along a public footpath, so access is good.
TYPE: – Fossils are found either within the cliff face or on the scree slopes. However, they are easier to see in the face.
Neutral Farm is rich in shells from the Red Crag. The most common finds are bivalves, gastropods and sharks’ teeth. Shells are best collected from the cliff face or from the scree slopes at the base. Be sure to take some paper to wrap your finds and containers to put them in.
The pit at Neutral Farm is Pliocene in age (Piacenzian, the upper stage or latest age of the Pliocene (approximately between 3.6 and 2.588 Mya)and the rocks belong to the Red Crag.
This crag is coarse-grained, poorly sorted with cross-bedded, abundantly shelly, sand. Cross bedding can be seen clearly in the cliff face.
Although there are no major safety issues at this site, you should follow the country code and common sense should be used at all locations.
A trowel or knife can be used for removing the shells from the beds. However, they are fragile, so paper and specimen boxes should also be taken.
This site is situated on PRIVATE land, and you must seek permission to visit, or join on an organised groups.
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 – Neutral Farm Pit