There are three sites at Burley Hill, giving the opportunity to collect Carboniferous corals and brachiopods from a small cutting, scree slopes and the hillside. There is plenty to be found here and it makes for a fantastic day out. It is also within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
♦ The fossil localities are on the hillside above the eastern edge of Burley Hill Quarry, just off the public footpath.
♦ Access is by the public footpath from Maeshafn (park in the village) or using the public footpath(s) from the quarry access road (SatNav reference SJ 2055 5941), which is the shortest.
♦ Burley Hill is a semi-active limestone quarry within the Clwydian Range AONB. The site can be combined with other sites and attractions in the area for a whole day excursion.
♦ Ref: 53.12913°N, 3.19225°W
FIND FREQUENCY: ♦♦♦ – Fossils are quite common at this location and the three sites provide plenty of opportunity for collecting.
CHILDREN: ♦♦♦ – The sites are suitable for children, but keep an eye on them anywhere near the active quarry workings.
ACCESS: ♦♦♦ – There is a walk to the sites, but they are not too far from parking and access is good. However, the location can be difficult to find, so maps or a GPS are recommended. The Miner Arms in Maeshafn is good for light refreshments, real ale and food.
TYPE: – There are three sites within this location where you can find fossils. The first is a small cutting by the footpath, the second is a scree slope and the third is the hillside above these.
The site comprises several different areas. Various fossils can also be seen on the quarry access road and in the various limestone walls and scattered blocks in the general area. However, do not remove any fossils you see in the walls.
Corals, brachiopods and crinoids can all be found. The weathering of the limestone can reveal exceptional detail of the corals in particular. Find frequency is high, although the quality of the specimens is not so good.
The Carboniferous Limestone has been quarried for many years for crushed rock aggregate. This formed under a warm shallow sea, about 330mya.
This site is generally safe, but you must follow the countryside rules. Take litter home with you and stick to the public footpaths. If using hammers, ensure you wear goggles. Keep away from the active quarry.
A map, a number of bags and newspaper in which to wrap your finds is all that is really needed at this location. A hammer and safety glasses may come in handy for breaking up larger blocks.
The nature reserve is an open access area with areas of woodland and upland heath. The sites are along public footpaths.