Boggle Hole is to the southern end of Robin Hood’s Bay and is a site of special scientific interest (SSSI). Foreshore exposures of siliceous shales yield a range of trace fossils and, during scouring conditions, some superb ammonites can be found.
♦ Boggle Hole can be reached either by taking the narrow road through Fyling Park or from south of Fylingthorpe.
♦ The road is not suitable for large vehicles, but there is a car park near Boggle Hole and it is a short walk to the shore. The area is one of outstanding natural beauty.
♦ Ref: 54.42273°N, 0.53020°W
FIND FREQUENCY: ♦♦ – Although Boggle Hole can yield some lovely ammonites, most of the year, the fossiliferous shales are covered with sand. If you visit Yorkshire during the winter, this is certainly worth a visit. Trace fossils can be found at anytime of the year.
CHILDREN: ♦♦♦ – This location is only suitable for older children, because the tall unstable cliffs can make it a dangerous place.
ACCESS: ♦♦♦ – Reaching the location is not too much of a walk, although the road access to the car park is narrow and not suitable for large vehicles.
TYPE: – Most fossils can be found on the foreshore during scouring conditions, but trace fossils can be found in a hard ledge at the base of the cliff at any time.
Finding fossils at Boggle Hole really depends on the conditions. During many months, the beach can be covered in sand, making collecting very difficult. However, during scouring conditions (especially in the winter months), the fossiliferous zones below beach level can be exposed and it is at these times when fossils can be collected. It is of course the ammonites of Yorkshire that most people are interested in. These are found during favourable conditions on the foreshore and include the popular species, Asteroceras obtusum.
However, there are many trace fossils that can be seen in a hard platform, which is always exposed at Stoupe Beck. Within this layer, fossils of Rhizocorallium, Thalassinoides and Teichichnus are all common.
At Boggle Hole, the Redcar Mudstone Formation is well exposed on the foreshore. This formation includes the zones Oxynotum and (towards Stoupe Beck, towards the south) the obtusum zone.
The Redcar Mudstone Formation consists of grey, fossiliferous, fissile mudstones and siltstones, with subordinate thin beds of shelly limestone in its lower part. It has fine-grained carbonate-cemented sandstone in the upper part, with argillaceous limestone concretions occurring throughout.
Common sense when collecting at all locations should be used and knowledge of tide times is essential. At Boggle Hole, 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.