The strata exposed at Presipe are a delight to behold. The various coves are very beautiful, if near impossible to reach except at low tide. Trace fossils are present in certain layers.
♦ Parking can be found along a small road next to Manorbier Camp. From here take the path to the west that skirts the perimeter fence of the establishment. At the end of the fence the path veers to the left across a field and then across more fields from which you can see the sea. Follow the path until you reach the point where it descends down to a beach. This is Presipe.♦ Ref: 51.63807°N, 4.78906°W
FIND FREQUENCY: ♦♦♦ – Fossils are fairly abundant at Presipe. One particular stratum has trace fossils preserved on its bedding planes but the layer is hard to access and the fossils are easy to miss. More likely to be seen are large, round, in-filled burrow fossils which occur in various places here.
CHILDREN: ♦♦♦♦ – There is a bit of a walk to reach the site but the sandy beach is very pleasant and ideal for children. The geology here should impress all who visit.
ACCESS: ♦♦♦ – Presipe is easy to find by following the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path from Manorbier Camp. There is quite a descent down to the beach via good steps. Unless accessed at low tide the visitor is restricted to the western cove. Searching for the more obscure trace fossils is only recommended for the fit.
TYPE: – Strongly sloping, near perpendicular rock strata jut out from the beach to form various bays and coves. In some places the bedding planes are exposed and it is on these that trace fossils are found.
Trace fossils can be found on the surfaces of bedding planes within certain rock strata.
The most obvious of these trace are large, tennis ball sized, red coloured circles. These are interpreted as in-filled burrows of a millipede-like animal.
Also present are large dehydration cracks and current bedding, showing that the strata containing the trace fossils were laid down on land. Look on the surfaces of exposed strata for the red circles. These are fairly abundant and are easy to see.
One specific area reached by a scramble over fallen rocks has the right stratum exposed to allow the search for other types of trace fossils. To reach this area the first outcrop of rock to the east of the main bay must be rounded at low tide or climbed over at other times. The same is also necessary for the next outcrop.
After this second protrusion you must climb upwards over fallen rocks to reach the fossiliferous strata of the third outcrop. Once at the top, investigate those rock layers exposed to your left. Climbing here is not recommended for anyone other than the fit and sure footed. Children should not attempt to fossil hunt at this location.
Trace fossils may be hard to see depending on light conditions, but are found on the bedding planes of a fine grained rock layer. Also to be found in this area are strata with large desiccation cracks on their surfaces.
Please do not try to collect from the rock faces. There is scree below in which a few trace fossils may possibly be found.
This site is Devonian in age – Lower Old Red Sandstone, Milford Haven Group.
Young children should be supervised when descending via the steps down to the beach. If venturing into the coves to the east of the main bay, keep a careful eye on the tide. It is easy to get cut off here. Mobile phone signals may be lost at this location so please ensure that you tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to return.
Please do not damage the cliffs or any large in situ rock outcrops.
This site is an SSSI. This Special Site of Scientific Interest, means you can visit the site, but hammering the bedrock is not permitted.