Category: Cumbria

The Lake District is the most popular area of the UK for hikers. It is not the most productive area for fossils, but it has its fair share of locations. Whitehaven in the only coastal site and is a highly productive site for Carboniferous plants, in excellent condition. The rest of Cumbria mostly consists of Ordovician and Silurian rocks, with a range of disused quarries. scree slopes, cuttings and streams. Trilobites can be found here, but are not very common. However, there are also some very good locations for collecting minerals.

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Saltcom Bay, Whitehaven.

Saltcom Bay

Saltcom Bay is found to the south of Whitehaven, directly after the harbour. It yields a variety of Carboniferous fossils from a mix of shale and limestone. The cliffs have been formed from spoil dumped from the coal mine and steel works that previously existed in the area, which are now being eroded. The site is rich in plant remains, fish scales and corals. Carboniferous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Fossil Collecting along the foreshore at Parton Pay

Parton Bay

Parton Bay is just north of Whitehaven and yields a variety of Carboniferous fossils from a mix of shale and limestone. There are no cliffs here, but material has been washed from the south and dumped from the former steel works and the coal mine that supplied it, containing plant remains, fish scales and corals. It is a safe and easy location, and is ideal for children. Carboniferous, Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Whitehaven

Whitehaven is one of the only places in the UK where fossil plants from the Carboniferous can be collected on the coast both on the foreshore and in the cliffs. This unique location can yield some well-preserved specimens. Carboniferous, Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Hodgson How Quarry

The fossils found at Hodgson How Quarry can be seen in the local Keswick Museum, where there are some superb and unusual species of graptolites. These are common in the beds at this disused quarry. In fact, this is one of the best graptolite locations in the Lake District. .Ordovician, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Coniston

The area around the town of Coniston from which fossils and minerals can be collected is quite large. It includes several quarries, and several becks and scree slopes. There is also a number of small cuttings. Graptolites and trilobites can be collected here, along with brachiopods. Silurian, Ordovician, Cuttings, Disused Quarries, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Causey Pike

Causey Pike is over 600m high. It is a small mountain with many outcrops of rock and scree slopes. Trilobites, trace fossils and graptolites can all be found in the scree when climbing towards the summit. However, this trip is hard going. Ordovician, Outcrops, Rating: ♦

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Stoneycroft Waterfall

Stair Stream

Stair Stream runs between Causey Pike and Barrow Hill. In the past, occasional graptolites have been found in the stream, which have been washed from higher beds. The Ordovician rocks in the stream itself are from the Buttermere Formation. . Ordovician, Stream, Rating: ♦

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Barrow

The southern and eastern slopes of the hill referred to on OS maps as Barrow (455m) has various types of chlorite-rich quartz, some of which can be very hard. Other minerals can be found including apatite and glaucodot. These can be collected in the debris on the south facing slope. Volcanic, Scree, Rating: ♦♦