Category: Scotland – Central

Most of the fossil bearing sites in the Midland and Grampian areas of Scotland are along the eastern coast. Here, Carboniferous rocks yield plant remains, brachiopods, trilobite and giant millipede tracks, corals and crinoids. Some of the best locations include East Wemyss, for plant remains, and Crail, where fossil tree trunks in life position can be seen. Fife also has many locations to visit, as a result of if once being a coal mining area.

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Seafield Tower

To the south of Seafield Tower, which is a sixteenth century castle ruin built of local red sandstone, is a highly fossiliferous section of Carboniferous Limestone. The limestone is packed with beautifully preserved crinoids, bryozoans, corals, shells and, if you are lucky, sharks’ teeth. These are exposed on the foreshore platforms.
Carboniferous, Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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West Wemyss

Unlike East Wemyss, where the cliffs are cut from a disused spoil heap, at West Wemyss, the cliffs contain in situ Carboniferous beds. There are very few locations in the UK where there are coastal sections of the actual coal measures. You can see very distinctive coal seams, and layers of harder rock and shale. The shale, both in the cliff and on the foreshore, is highly fossiliferous with plant remains.
Carboniferous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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East Wemyss

The sea regularly erodes a cliff of spoil from the now closed nearby Michael Colliery. This cliff contains many different carboniferous beds, some of which contain highly fossiliferous plant and marine bands, fossils from which can be found scattered along the foreshore. Carboniferous, Spoil, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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St Monans

There is plenty to see at St Monans, including raised beaches, an excellent example of a syncline, bedding planes packed with trace fossils and whole layers of rock full of fossil corals and crinoids. Carboniferous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Some excellent Carboniferous plant fossils can be found at Anstruther. This is the case if you can find the right type of rock, and if you have the strength and determination to break them open and carry them off the beach. Carboniferous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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There are two locations for fossils at Elie. The first is Elie Shore where, during scouring conditions and winter months, brachiopods, bivalves, sponges and trilobite fragments can be found. Nearby, the rocks at Wood Haven also contain fossils Carboniferous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦