Along the river Stour, Pleistocene cliffs at Stutton Ness yield the bones of mammoths and deer, whilst foreshore exposures of Eocene London clay yield a wide variety of fossil seeds.
♦ Unfortunately, there is a long walk to get to Stutton, the narrow track roads which can take you closer to Sutton Ness, have warning signs that unauthorized parking will result in wheel clamping. The large number of walkers to this area in the past have resulted in blocked roads as people have parked carelessly.
♦ So, you will need to park at the Stutton Community Centre, there is a special area signposted ‘Walkers Park Here’, please do not park on the made-car park, but use this dedicated area. From here walk left out of the community centre entrance. There is a road signposted to the farm business centre.
♦ Follow the road all the way until the road veers into the business centre, instead, go straight ahead and keep following the road until it goes past the gardens of a very large house. You will reach a gate and the footpath continues past this gate.
♦ Continue the farm track all the way until you reach a ‘T’ junction, follow the path to the left, round all the way until you get to the shore. Here, take a right turn and follow the path all the way until you reach Stutton Ness. It is marked by a slope way leading to the shore and a tyre used as a swing. From here, walk right along the shore. If you want to reach the London Clay, you will need to walk all the way round to the next headland which can be seen with lots of trees.
♦ Ref: 51.95554°N, 1.12285°E
FIND FREQUENCY:♦ – Stutton is not a very productive location, and often depends on tidal waters to wash out the pleistocene cliffs. Bones are occasionally found here, but are not common. Seeds from the London Clay are difficult to collect as the exposures are often covered in algae.
CHILDREN: ♦♦♦ – This location is suitable for families, but is a very long walk.
ACCESS: ♦ – There is a long 4-mile walk at this location, since cars are not permitted down the narrow farm tracks. A round trip of 8 miles makes this a challenging location for anyone not used to walking.
TYPE: – Fossils can be found in the cliffs or foreshore. London Clay is only exposed on the foreshore.
Bones of elephants, teeth and tusks along with deer bones can be found here. molluscs are also frequently found. London Clay is exposed on the foreshore West of Stutton Ness, the exposures yield a variety of small fossil seeds. Search the cliffs themselves, especially after storms and high tides. Bones can be seen in situ and you can dig these out using a trowel. molluscs can be collected in situ. Check the base of the cliffs and along the edge of the river, bones can get washed out and deposited along the banks, or fall from the cliff. At the western end, London Clay is exposed on the foreshore, you can search the shingle around these areas or take samples for wet sieving. Small seeds are often found.
At the western end, London Clay is exposed on the foreshore, you can search the shingle around these areas or take samples for wet sieving. Small seeds are often found.
Common sense should be used when collecting at all locations. Tide times should be noted, with collecting being carried out on a retreating tide if possible.
Fossils at Stutton can mostly be picked up after storms when the river tides wash out the cliffs.
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 – Stutton