Day: June 14, 2016

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Tidmoor Point

Tidmoor Point is a small promontory of highly productive Oxford Clay, situated along the shoreline of The Fleet lagoon, opposite Chesil Beach. Renowned for its pyrite and limonitic casts of small ammonites, the cliff here is very low. Apart from ammonites, the site is also rich in belemnites, crinoids, crabs, lobsters, sharks, reptiles, crocodiles, fish and molluscs. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Gedgrave

The cliffs at Gedgrave, which run along the east bank of the River Butley, were previously completely overgrown for quite a number of years, despite being recognised as an SSSI for their geological and palaeontological importance. However, as part of Natural England’s conservation of SSSI sites, a small, three metre section has been fully excavated making this site accessible once again. Pliocene, Cliffs, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Strawberry Wood

This is a disused Carboniferous limestone quarry, within a small wood. It is very rich in fossils. Studies indicate important changes in the palaeo-environments of the deposits and in the varied macrofossil assemblages from the surrounding Carboniferous sediments, which are of similar age. Due to the importance of the site, keep collecting to a minimum. Carboniferous, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Hengistbury Head

Hengistbury Head is at the most easterly end of Dorset and is a popular area for hikers. The cliffs are tall, but surrounded by water, with Christchurch Harbour just 400m round the corner to the east. These are Barton Age and are rich in fossil seeds. Therefore, this is an ideal location for the microfossil collector. Eocene, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Danes Dyke

Famous for its many species of sponges, Danes Dyke is a must go location for anyone into chalk fossils. In fact, this is the best location in the UK for sponges. Echinoids, bivalves, brachiopods and crinoids can all be found too. Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Bridlington

The beach at Bridlington is popular with tourists and ideal for children. However, towards Sewerby, the beach becomes increasingly rocky and it is here you can find excellent fossil sponges. Despite these being more common at Bridlington, Sewerby is picked over by collectors, so you are more likely to come across something. Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Pegwell Bay

The cliff section between Pegwell Bay and Ramsgate Harbour is composed of Upper Chalk. There are many fallen blocks to investigate for sea urchin fossils, with other common finds including crinoid stem parts, brachiopods and starfish plates. Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Helmsdale

Helmsdale is the best place to collect Jurassic fossils in Scotland. Geologists have been fascinated by the strange ‘Boulder Beds’ for many years and some questions have remained unanswered as to how the beds were formed. The area is rich in reptile remains, giant corals, fish remains and the occasional ammonite. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Eathie

This is the official ‘Hugh Miller Trail’. Hugh Miller was one of the most important Scottish geologists of the 19th century. Ammonites and fossil fish can be found here. The footpath down to the shore was created by Hugh Miller himself. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦

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Baile an Or

Baile an Or is ideal for families and children. It is set in beautiful scenery and you can pan for gold here. There is actually quite a lot of gold, although they are tiny grains. However, some people have collected enough gold to make a wedding ring and other jewellery. Gold Panning, River, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Portgower

What looks like an ordinary rocky beach, covered in seaweed, is actually rich in corals, ammonites and shells, although you need to work hard to find them. At Portgower, the rocks exposed are from the Jurassic and, if you split them, can yield flat ammonites and shells. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Balintore

A Jurassic fault along the Balintore foreshore is well exposed here. Fossil oysters are quite common, but belemnites can also be found. In addition, during the right conditions, Jurassic ammonites can be found. The cliffs here consist of Devonian strata. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦