The Long Nab Member exposed at Crook Ness yields the occasional plant remains or brachiopod. However, fossils are not easy to find and this location is overgrown in places, but is ideal for an alternative day out (but not recommended if time is limited).
♦ Crook Ness can be found along the A171 to the north of Scarborough. The turnoff is in the village of Burniston, where a small road signposted to Crook Ness can be seen.
♦ There is limited parking at the cliff top and, from here, a footpath takes you to the shore.
♦ From here, walk along the foreshore and search the rocks.
♦ Ref: 54.32737°N, 0.42304°W
FIND FREQUENCY: ♦♦ – The most likely finds here are plant remains and molluscs, but fossils are not very common at this location. However, for anyone who regularly visits the Yorkshire coast looking for a new location or for an alternative to the popular sites, this would be ideal.
CHILDREN: ♦♦ – This location is not suitable for children, because it has a very rocky foreshore.
ACCESS: ♦♦♦ – The location isn’t too much of a walk from the car park, although parking is limited.
TYPE: – Most fossils can be found on the foreshore, but they are also commonly found in the cliff and scree slopes.
Most fossils at Crook Ness can be found by searching at the base of the cliff and scree slopes, especially after heavy rain or winter high tides. Heavy rain washes fossils down from the clay and these can be picked up at the base of the cliff. Sometimes, the foreshore can be scoured out and this also makes for excellent collecting opportunities.
Many of the plant remains are very fragile and will fade if not looked after. Therefore, you should wrap these in newspaper and then treat when you get home with a PVA solution to prevent damage to the specimens.
At Crook Ness, the Long Nab Member of the Scalby Formation makes up most of the formation from Crook Ness to Long Nab. This is part of the Ravenscar Group, from the Bathonian stage of the Middle Jurassic at around 165-170myrs old.
The Long Nab Member comprises grey, laminated mudstones and siltstones with yellow-grey, fine- to medium-grained, planar bedded and cross-stratified sandstones.
Common sense when collecting at all locations should be used and knowledge of tide times is essential. At Crook Ness, the sea often reaches the base of the cliff, so you must return before the tide turns. The cliffs also frequently fall, so keep away from the base.
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.