Stone Edge Plantation is not far from Holymoorside. The area was extensively mined for coal and coal measures shale can be found around the workings in and around the plantation.
♦ From the A632, if travelling from the South (Matlock), you will come to an area of trees on the left hand side, just past the turnoff for the B5057. This is Stone Edge Plantation.
♦ Do not take the B5057, but instead continue for a little way and you will see another turnoff on the left, where the plantation ends.
♦ Take this road, which has plenty of places to park just around the bend. Walk back to the junction with the A632 and, near here, you will see a gate and footpath.
♦ Instead of following the footpath south, climb the slope to the southwest. You will come to an area of coal measures shale scattered at the top of the slope. These are the old workings.
♦ Ref: SK 34380 67744
FIND FREQUENCY: ♦♦ – The Carboniferous shale here is poor compared to other areas. Plant fossils can be found, but they are poorly preserved and few and far between.
CHILDREN: ♦♦♦♦ – This site is suitable for children, as there are no real dangers. However, there is a mine around this site, which may be left open, so keep an eye out for this.
ACCESS: ♦♦♦♦ – The site is easy to find. Stone Edge Plantation is marked on OS 1:50,000 and OS 1:25,000 scale maps, and is a short distance from where you park and fairly easy to find.
TYPE: – Fossils are found in the spoil left over from the old workings of a coal mine. This is found by digging in and around the area of workings.
As with most other locations with old mine workings, good size pieces of shale can be hard to extract. Over the years, most of the spoil has broken down or crumbled away to nothing. However, there are still some good-sized pieces of shale to be found, but you may have to use a pick or small spade to remove the weathered material.
The plant fossils here are much less common than other similar sites and are poorly preserved. Once you find some good size pieces of shale, split these using a chisel pick and/or chisel. You can still find some fossil leaves and stems.
The plantation is also very dense, which makes collecting much harder. We recommend this site only if visiting others in the area.
The Pennine Lower Coal Measures Formation here consists of the scree from Belperlawn coal mine, which are Lower Westphalian (Langsettian) in age, from the Upper Carboniferous (Pennsylvanian).
There are no specific beds, as the shale here is the spoil from the old underground workings.
There is an old mine around this area. Some of the covers to the shafts around Holymoorside coal district have been removed for their metal, so take care when walking around.
A pick, or hammer and chisel, and eye protection are ideal for removing the shale, and a chisel-pick ideal for splitting it. Take plenty of paper to wrap up your finds.
This location has no restrictions, it is along a public footpath and accessible to all.