This is a very productive little quarry that is easy to access. It is an occasionally worked quarry, which is fully accessible from the trackway. This means fresh faces and scree are available to search through. Take plenty of paper for bags of finds, but, be warned, it involves quite a long walk.
♦ From Girvan, follow the B741 to the northeast of the town. You will cross the railway line three times. After the third time, the B741 will take a right turn towards Dailly. Do not take this road. Instead, continue straight on the minor road, which will cross over the railway line for a fourth time. After this, take the next left and follow the road through the woods.
♦ This is Glenmard Woods. About halfway along a straight section of the road, you will see a trackway with a gate. You can park here.
♦ This small quarry is not marked on the map, as it is used only to fill in the local roads and not for extraction for sale. However, you can see the trackway on any OS 1:50,000 map.
♦ Walk from the gate and follow the track. Eventually, you will pass a very large house on the left (you cannot miss it). The path then veers north (which is not shown on the OS maps) and passes the quarry. As long as you keep walking down the track, you will eventually come to it.
♦ Ref: 55.28789°N, 4.74909°W
FIND FREQUENCY: ♦♦♦♦♦ – Brachiopods, bivalves, gastropods, orthocones, trilobites and corals can all be found here. The Ordovician mudstones are packed with fossils, which are in excellent condition. Most of the fossils are brachiopods, bivalves and orthocones, but many others can also be found.
CHILDREN: ♦♦ – This site is not suitable for children, as this quarry is occasionally worked. Some of the faces can be dangerous.
ACCESS: ♦♦ – The quarry is easy to find. The problem is that it is a long walk of about 3km.
TYPE: – This quarry is used to repair local roads and is owned by the locals. Do not visit, unless you have prior permission from the local farmer.
This is an occasionally worked quarry, owned by the locals to repair their roadway. You will need permission from the local farmer to visit.
It is quite a long walk, but it is worth the effort. When you first look at the scree, it appears as though there are few fossils here. However, as soon as you start splitting the mudstone, you will start to make finds.
You can find all kinds of fossils in excellent condition, including brachiopods, bivalves, gastropods, orthocones, trilobites and corals. Some of the zones in the mudstone are more productive than others. Once you find a really productive bed, you can keep splitting it to find more and more fossils. You can also take samples home for processing for smaller shells. The number of different fossil molluscs is quite staggering. They are also white, which clearly shows up against the dark mudstone, making them easy to find. The best beds tend to be those in the southwest of the quarry, but there are plenty of good blocks lying around the quarry floor.
These highly productive, Ordovician mudstones are from the Ashgill Series in age (which are 445myrs old), from the Drummuck Subgroup of the Ardmillan Group.
These mudstones are blue-grey or olive greenish in colour, with sandy beds and basal conglomerate or grit and can be split very easily.
Care should be taken if collecting near the back end of the quarry, near the faces. These can be dangerous and can crumble at any time. In addition, they are often very steep, as the quarry is still worked occasionally. Keep away from the digger at all times.
A pick and plenty of paper is mostly all you need. You do not want to collect too much, as you will have a carry it all on the return trip to the car. Be sure to take plenty of drink with you for the walk.
This is an SSSI site.
Scotland’s fossil resource is at risk of abuse and damage, and so we must all safeguard and managed fossil collecting to ensure its survival for future generations. For this reason it is VITAL you read and adhere to the Scottish Fossil Code for ALL sites in Scotland.