Ramsholt is one of the best locations for fossils in Suffolk yielding Sharks Teeth, Lobsters, Fruit, shells from the London clay, Shells, Sharks teeth from the Red Crag, Corals, Echinoid’s, from the Coralline and Complete Crabs, fish remains, Sharks teeth from the basement Bed.
♦ To get to Ramsholt, you need to head for the ‘Ramsholt Arms’, there is a large car park just before the pub on the left. From here, there is a long walk to Ramsholt Cliff. Walk Westwards towards the Pub end, follow the footpath around the banks of the river, this will eventually lead onto a path through a wooded area. Continue West and you will walk around the banks of the Marshland popular with many rare birds. Still continue on and you will eventually arrive at a small beach with trees on the foreshore, sticky clay and a cliff. The walk takes around 30-40 Minutes depending on the speed of walking.
♦ To find the Ramsholt Arms, just past Shottisham Hall is a narrow road leading to ‘Ramsholt’ follow this down and look for a narrow road signposted ‘Ramsholt Arms’ this signpost can be difficult to see but is just after a long straight part of the road followed by a sudden bend. The turnoff is actually on the bend itself.
♦ Ref: 52.03474°N, 1.34640°E
FIND FREQUENCY: ♦♦♦♦♦ – Ramsholt has yielded fossils on its shores for many years. The small beach is most popular with those wishing to moor their boats and picnic or barbeque on the beach, many are surprised to find fossils such as sharks teeth simply lying on the beach.
CHILDREN: ♦♦♦♦ – Ideal for Children. This location is ideal for children, fossils can be easily found on the foreshore. Although children should stay away during the winter high tides.
ACCESS: ♦♦ – Ramsholt is hard to find, once you do find it, it is a long walk to the cliffs. This takes about 30-60 minutes dependng on how fast you walk and the conditions of the footpath. During the winter, the walk is hard going along a very muddy and slippery footpath.
TYPE: – Fossils are mostly found on the foreshore. All you need to do is get on your hands and knees and beach comb. Wellington Boots are recommended during the winter or directly after high tides.
Sharks teeth, fish remains and a wide range of molluscs, and mammal remains can be found in the Red Crag. You can find fossil crabs at Ramsholt, these are derived and can be found in the Red Crag Basement Bed. Many other fossils can be found in this bed including lobsters, fish remains, sharks teeth and vertebras. Infact since these are derived, you never know what you may find.
You can also find wonderful corals from the Coralline Crag, Regular Sea Urchin, many types of shells and bryozoans.
From the London Clay, Sharks teeth and other remains can be found, fish fragments, Turtle, Crag, Lobster and Snake are all possible. Shark and Fish remains are the most common.
There is a wide range of fossils to be found at Ramsholt. One of the best collecting spots seems to be near the tree with a Rope’ hanging, there is a mixture of fossils in this area, sharks teeth from the London Clay & Derived from the Red Crag along with Crab’s both whole and pieces. Ray plates and fish teeth are also very common hear. Expect to find almost anything as this is an excellent site for London Clay collecting. Look hard, especially around the trees as fossils get caught under the branches. Usually along the shoreline at the cliff base you may find wonderful corals from the Coralline Crag, These are usually in excellent condition and can be cleaned to a bright-white when soaked or bleached to look even better. These corals can also be found amongst the shingle and clay especially around ‘The Rope’ area at the western end of Ramsholt during scouring tides. When the Basement Bed is scoured out, you should find a layer full of pebbles, within this layer are the crabs, sharks teeth, ray and other fossils. The best beds are those near the rope and yield a vast number of teeth and crabs. These fossils are then washed down from the bed and deposited along the foreshore. At the West end of Ramsholt, Crag Shells are exposed along the entire beach, many derived sharks teeth, ray plates and other fossils can be found amongst the shells. There is a wide range of shells from both crags which make ideal collecting for any crag shell enthusiasts. There is such a vast amount of collecting to be done, you may spend hours at Ramsholt and still only search a very small percentage of the entire location.
The London clay is well exposed at Ramsholt, nodules can contain excellent fossil specimens such as crabs and are washed out from the beds on the foreshore. At the East end of Ramsholt, the London Clay can be seen as a small cliff, this dips Westwards to be exposed along the foreshore. The Coralline Crag is faulted at the middle of Ramsholt due to a cliff fall, this has slipped above the Red Crag in the upper part of the cliff face. At the West end of Ramsholt below beach level, the Coralline Crag is found with the Red Crag at its normal position, above the Coralline Crag. The foreshore here is mixed between both the Red and Coralline Crag which can make collecting a little confusing.
The Red crag is also at the East end of Ramsholt above the London Clay, where the Coralline Crag is missing.
The Red Crag Basement bed contains many excellent derived fossils, this is at beach level at the West End of Ramsholt. This bed contains a vast amount of small black pebbles which can be best seen around the area with the Rope.
The Basement bed is also frequently washed out at the middle part of the cliff section where it originally slipped, and further landslides caused the Corralline Crag to rest upon this. Therefore the middle section of the cliff can be extremely confusing. The Sequence actually goes, Red Crag, Coralline Crag, Red Crag, Red Crag Basement Bed, Coralline Crag, London Clay.
Common sense when collecting at all locations should be taken and knowledge of tide times should always be noted. The main issue one should be aware of is the tide, this reachs the base of the cliff. The fallen trees can make it easy to become cut off, it is best to visit this location on a falling tide.
The fossils from Ramsholt are usually found on the foreshore, however blocks of hard London Clay also contain fossils, so it is best to take a pick which is useful for the clay. Most fossils you will only need good eyes for.
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 – Ramsholt