Scalby Ness

Scalby Ness is another good location for collecting plant remains. It is not as highly productive as other Yorkshire locations, due to the limited area. However, you can still find some very good plant remains from the boulders on the foreshore.


♦ Head towards the Scarborough Sea Life Centre. The pay and display car park is council owned. Park here and walk down to the shore.
♦ The area you need to head towards is Scalby Ness which is to the north.
♦ Ref: 54.30501°N, 0.40768°W


FIND FREQUENCY: ♦♦♦ – Scalby Ness yields excellent plant remains, but the collecting area is quite limited. However, you can still find some very good specimens.
CHILDREN: ♦♦♦♦ – This location is easy to access and children can visit. However, ensure they take care, as the foreshore is rocky. Young children may struggle to walk to this location.
ACCESS: ♦♦♦♦ – Access to the shore at Scalby Ness is easy and quick to get to. You should park in the pay and display car park.
TYPE: – Most fossils can be found within the boulders and ledges on the foreshore, but they can also be found in the layers within the cliff face.


Examine the boulders on the foreshore at Scalby Ness. These contain plant remains. The ledges and foreshore exposures also contain plant remains in the shale. Use a hammer to split these layers.

Plant remains can also be collected from the cliff face. In fact, Scalby Ness is excellent for plant remains, which are very well preserved.



The Jurassic rocks at Scalby Ness are of Bathonian age (170-165mya) and comprise rocks of the Scalby Formation.

The lower part of the formation (Moor Grit Member) is dominated in coastal exposures by grey, medium- to coarse-grained, sporadically pebbly, trough cross-bedded sandstone, with thin siltstone and mudstone beds; plant fragments and fossil wood casts are common.

The uppermost Long Nab Member comprises laminated grey mudstones and siltstones with yellowish grey, fine- to medium-grained, planar bedded and cross-stratified sandstones. Plant fragments and rootlets are common

The Scalby Formation rests on the upper beds of grey shelly mudstone or shelly sandstone of the Scarborough Formation (Bajocian age of 177- 170 Mya)

Scalby Ness


Common sense when collecting at all locations should be used and knowledge of tide times is essential. Keep away from the cliff face, as falls can be quite common along this coastline. It is also very easy to get cut off from the tide, so ensure you return before the tide turns.


Most of the fossils are found by splitting rocks that contain the plants. You will need hammers for this trip.


This site is a site of special scientific interest (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, download the PDF from Natural England

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


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