Moel Findeg is a small but very prominent hill on the eastern edge of the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Corals, brachiopods and crinoids can be found in spoil, which is regularly turned over, as it is used by a local farmer to repair their farm tracks. Access is fully permitted even though it is on private land.
♦ The fossil locality is on the eastern side of the mountain on private land, just off the public footpath.
♦ Access is by the public footpath from the Maeshafn direction. Either park in the village and walk along road or there is just enough room to squeeze a couple of cars in the layby (SJ 2056 6079).
♦ The site can be combined with other sites and attractions in the area for a whole day excursion.
♦ Ref: 53.14027°N, 3.18396°W
FIND FREQUENCY: ♦♦♦ – Fossils are quite common at this location, as the spoil heap is regularly used by a farmer as hard-core for tracks and so fresh spoil is often available.
CHILDREN: ♦♦ – This site is suitable for children and can be mixed with a walk round to the summit of Moel Findeg itself. (There are great views of the Clwydian range, out over Cheshire Merseyside and the Dee Estuary.) Take a picnic. The nearby pond is good for washing fossils, but, be aware of its location, if you have small children. There is also a small pond in the nature reserve.
ACCESS: ♦♦♦ – There is a walk to this location from the layby, but it is not too far and access is good. However, this location can be difficult to locate, so we recommend maps and GPS. The Miner Arms in Maeshafn village is good for light refreshments, real ales and food.
TYPE: – The small site comprises a low spoil heap believed to be from nearby mine workings. The landowner appears to use the spoil as a source of hard-core for potholed tracks and so on, so parts occasionally get removed to reveal fresh spoil. Visiting during wet weather can help, as the coral detail is highlighted in the darker rock.
Fossils can be collected from the small spoil heap. Search the loose rocks for fossils, in which fossils can be found without any tools, just by searching in the spoil. There are plenty to be found.
Corals are the mainstay of the site, but brachiopods and crinoids can also be found. Some of the larger blocks contain colonies of coral.
The underlying rock is Carboniferous Limestone formed under a warm shallow sea, about 330mya. River deltas also deposited fine millstone grits, which are now a feature of the hill towards its summit escarpment. The potential quarrying of a large silica deposit on the western slopes led the Friends of Moel Findeg to purchase and preserve the land in perpetuity as a local nature reserve.
This site is generally safe, but follow the countryside rules. Take litter home with you and stick to the public footpaths.
Search the loose rocks for fossils. You can find fossils without any tools, just by searching in the spoil. Remember to bring some bags and newspaper in which to wrap your finds. If using hammers, ensure you wear goggles.
The nature reserve is an open access area with areas of woodland and upland heath.