Capel Green

This recently cleared pit at Capel Green provides an excellent opportunity to collect Red Crag Shells. It is next to the road, disused but has two large clear faces full of shells. In addition, shells can be collected from the quarry floor or nearby heap. Evidence of cross bedding is also clearly visible.


♦ Capel Green is to the South of Butley, and to the West of Butley Abbey.
♦ When driving from the north, the pit can be found along the road, just after the crossroads. You will see a signpost “Quarry Workings”, with plenty of places to park nearby.
♦ You can access the quarry from the roadside, the first face is visible from the road, but the second face is round the corner of the first. Both faces are full of shells.
♦ The quarry is on the edge of Rendlesham Forest.
♦ Ref: 52.09205°N, 1.45350°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. Bone fragments are however not so common from this site.
CHILDREN: ♦♦ – Quarries either working or disused are no places for children as they present many dangers.
ACCESS: ♦♦♦♦ – Capel Green is easy to find, you can park opposite the disused quarry, and walk straight in. There is a slope that you need to descend but it is not too steep.
TYPE: – Fossils are found either on the quarry floor, in the cliff face or heap of shells. We recommend collecting from the floor since it is easier to find shells and much safer.


Capel Green is rich in Red Crag shells, one of the most common finds is the bivalve Macoma, but gastropods are also very common here.

Shells are best collected from the quarry floor where the rain has washed them out and they are easier to see. You can also collect from the shell heap, which would make safer collecting, but the cliff faces also have rich shell beds. Be sure to take some paper to wrap your finds and containers to put them in.



The pit at Capel Green is of Pliocene age being the Red Crag. This crag is coarse-grained, poorly sorted with cross-bedded abundantly shelly sand. Cross bedding can be seen clearly in the first cliff face. There is also a thin layer of clay separating upper and lower shell beds at the second face.


Although there are no major safety issues at this site, but please follow the country code. Please use common sense at all locations. Please be aware, the cliff could collapse at any moment, please do not dig into the cliff face.


A trowel or knife should be used for removing the shells from the shell beds. Fossil shells are fragile, so paper, and specimen boxes should also be taken.


Although this pit is disused, and along the roadside with easy access, restrictions may apply. If you enter this site, you do so at your own risk. For groups and societies, you should try to seek the owner of this site.
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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