Tag: Ammonites

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Eastbourne

This location is highly fossiliferous, with chalk packed with ammonites, echinoids, brachiopods, bivalves and crinoids. This is one of the best chalk locations in the UK and is full of surprises. It is highly recommended to all fossil hunters who love the chalk. Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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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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Kingstone

The fields around Ilchester in Somerset are famed for their fossils from the Upper Lias Beacon Limestone Formation (formerly, the so-called ‘Junction Bed’). In particular, ammonites are sought after and, after ploughing, can be found in some numbers at this location, on the surface of the fields. Jurassic, Fields, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Southerndown

Southerndown is a Jurassic coastal location that closely resembles the classic Lias sites of Somerset. The early Blue Lias is mostly thickly bedded limestones, with thin shale bands. The limestones are full of bivalves, with occasional ammonites. They sometimes also yield reptile remains and fish. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Tilton-on-the-Hill

This site is a disused railway cutting near Tilton-on-the-Hill, which is extremely rich in fossils. Now fairly overgrown, there is just one small area of collecting where the cliffs are still accessible. The site is a SSSI, for the diversity of its fossils, its geological important and for the living fauna and flora that can be seen here. It is also a nature reserve. One key feature is the presence of two thick limestone beds – crammed full of brachiopods – which can be easily collected from by looking in the loose scree. Jurassic, Disused Railway Cutting, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Hooken Cliff

Hooken Cliff is the best location in Devon for finding fossils, in particular, echinoids, ammonites, fish and brachiopods, which are easy to find – you just never know what you may find. They can be found in the White Chalk Subgroup (Seaton Formation) and the Grey Chalk Subgroup and in the Upper Greensand. Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Wootton Bassett

Wootton Bassett is an incredibly interesting and unique location. Fossils are found in a stream, which washes them from the famous ‘Wootton Bassett Mud Spring’. The mud spring erupts from time to time, bringing fossils from the underlying Ampthill Clay to the surface, where they are washed out by a stream from the spring. While the spring itself is fenced off, the stream is accessible. Jurassic, Stream Embankment, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Sandridge Park

This disused sandpit (known as the Sahara Sandpit) is now being used for landfill, but a special area has been designated as a RIGS, because of its geological importance. Entrance to the site can be obtained by prior arrangement from the occupants of the house next to the sandpit, who will open the gates for you. They are usually very accommodating to visitors. Jurassic, Disused Pit, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Rigg

This is a very dramatic location, but Rigg is one of the least visited fossils locations on Skye. The reason is that this is only for the experienced collector. It has a fascinating coastline of Lower and Middle Jurassic sediments. Rich in fossils, archaeology and local wildlife, Rigg is one of these places where safety and common sense must prevail. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Lilstock

Rich in reptile remains, you can find bones at Lilstock on the foreshore and in the cliff. In fact, complete skeletons are regularly found. Lilstock also yields ammonites, shells and fish remains. The Lilstock Formation contains fossils in the Triassic beds exposed along the foreshore. Triassic, Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Blue Anchor

The cliffs at Blue Anchor contain a thin Triassic bone bed overlying Jurassic deposits from the Rhaetian Penarth series. This is full of reptile and fish remains, similar to Aust on the River Severn. There are plenty of blocks to split. Triassic, Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Stolford

Stolford represents the most easterly coastal exposures of the Jurassic Lias in Somerset. There are no cliffs here, just a large foreshore platform consisting of limestone and shale bands. Sadly, the foreshore platform is often covered in algae and mud, making collecting quite hard. Jurassic, Foreshore, Rating: ♦

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Beachy Head

This is a classic British chalk location and a must for experienced fossil hunters. This guide concentrates on access from Cow Gap to Beachy Head. Over just a relatively short distance, fossils can be collected from the White Chalk Subgroup and Grey Chalk Subgroup. Please refer to the Eastbourne guide for the Eastbourne to Cow Gap section. Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Peacehaven

Some lovely echinoids can be found in the chalk at Peacehaven, including some superb, large Echinocorys cincta. This locality is also good for fish remains, which can sometimes be found on the foreshore. Fossils at Peacehaven are best found during scouring conditions. They can also be found in the fallen blocks on the beach. Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Ardnish Peninsula

The Ardnish Peninsula is a place of immense beauty and has amazing wildlife. Several narrow little peninsulas stretch out like fingers, dividing the sandy shoreline into little inlets at low-tide. Very richly fossiliferous horizons are separated by relatively baron ones. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Vale of Belvoir

The Vale of Belvoir is an area rich in fossils from the Lias. The bedrock is close to the surface and fossils can be collected from ploughed fields. This particular location should only be visited between late September and April, when the fields have been ploughed and the crops have not begun to grow. Jurassic, Ploughed Fields, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Dunans

Dunans has a delightful little secluded beach that has an exposure of soft grey Oxford Clay at the high tide mark. A variety of fossils can be picked from the clay shale lying at the foot of the exposure and patches of fresh clay bedrock are often revealed on the lowest of tides. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Prince Charlie’s Cave

Famous for its historical past, the shores to the north of Prince Charlie’s Cave (which itself lies to the north of Portree) can provide a variety of common and a few rare collectable fossil specimens, from several recognised zones. Prince Charlie’s Cave is one of the toughest locations Skye has to offer. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Shanklin

Shanklin is a very good location on the Isle of Wight for Lower Greensand fossils, in particular, dinosaur remains and molluscs. When the Lower Greensand is exposed to air and left to dry, it becomes extremely hard. However, when fresh and, especially when exposed on the foreshore, it is like clay. Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Camustianavaig

Camustianavaig is not for the faint-hearted, with a long hard walk and a very rugged terrain. However, for the enthusiastic serious collector, it has a few amazing fossils. And the stunning scenery and absolute solitude in this very remote location makes it a wonderful place to visit. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Waterloo

The tiny sea front village of Waterloo is a good place to start for a short and easy fossil hunting location on Skye. This is a great place for a family fossil hunt and, for the beginner. Lower Jurassic fossils can be found in patches across most of the easily accessible bedrock. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Valtos

Valtos has the dramatic landscape to match its splendid name. This is the place to see some of Skye’s famous dinosaur footprints. As well as these amazing trace fossils, the Bathonian Upper Jurassic sedimentary rocks have yielded dinosaur bones in the past, and they are on display in the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Cayton Bay

Cayton Bay yields ammonites and some superb gastropods, bivalves and brachiopods from the Oxford Clay. These are best found on extreme low tides on the foreshore. This location is best during scouring conditions. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Reighton

Reighton Sands is an ideal location to stop by when walking to the popular nearby Speeton Cliffs. It has Kimmeridge Clay rich in ammonites and shells, but this is often covered up and requires scouring tides. Instead, the boulder clay yields a variety of erratic fossils of Jurassic, Cretaceous and Carboniferous age. Jurassic, Erratics (Jurassic, Cretaceous, Carboniferous), Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Speeton

The highly productive Speeton Clay yields ammonites, fish, shells and crustaceans. This location is similar to the famous Folkestone Beds. Speeton is also an excellent location for all the family, but can be very sticky in winter months. Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Mappleton

Mappleton is one of the best locations along the Holderness coast to collect fossils. Consisting of glacial tills, you never know what you might find. Ammonites, belemnites, echinoids, corals and molluscs are the most common. Most of the erratics are Carboniferous, Jurassic and Cretaceous in age. Erratics (Jurassic, Carboniferous, Cretaceous), Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Sedbury cliff

On the opposite side of the River Severn from the famous Aust Cliff, there are the much less famous Sedbury Cliffs. At what first appears to be a location similar but far less productive than Aust, it is actually a very productive location for Jurassic fossils. Triassic, Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Penarth

Penarth is the most popular location in Wales for fossil collectors. This is down to both the site being very rich in fossils, together being a major built up area. This site can be over collected but you still should come home with some finds. Jurassic, Triassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Seatown

During scouring tides, Seatown turns into an ‘ammonite kingdom’. They can simply be picked up along the foreshore and, therefore, the location is ideal for children. There is also a superb pub with views of Golden Cap. Fossils can be found all year round, as can microfossils and minerals. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Charmouth

The Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site is one of the most famous and most popular Jurassic locations in the world, yielding plenty of fossils for the thousands that come collecting every year. And Charmouth is at the heart of it all. This geological guide features both the cliffs of Black Ven and Stonebarrow, and information on the local area of Charmouth. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Burton Bradstock

Locals wait months for ‘Burton to fall’, and when she does, her rich ammonite beds yield superb finds, with bags to bring home. Cliff falls occur every two to three years, and fossils can then be collected from the rocks on the foreshore or from any of the scree slopes. As well as ammonites, many other fossils can be found, including echinoids, shark fins, bivalves and brachiopods. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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West Bay

West Bay continues from Burton Bradstock, but is much less productive because the Inferior Oolite beds are much thinner and cliff falls are uncommon. Fossil shells and poorly preserved ammonites can be found in the Bridport Sands. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦

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Redcliff Point

The Oxford Clay and the Corallian Beds at Redcliff Point yield ammonites, many species of bivalves and the clay is particularly rich in reptile remains. Giant fossil oyster shells of Gryphaea dilatata are also plentiful. This location is best after scouring tides and/or rain, but you will need wellington boots or good walking boots, as the terrain is tough going at Redcliff Point.
Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Perryfield Quarry

This working quarry (Perryfield Quarry) on Portland has a giant ammonite (Titanites) at its gates. Ammonites like this can be found here, but most quarries sell these and so do not allow collectors to remove these finds. However, trace fossils and molluscs can be seen in the Basal Shell Bed. Jurassic, Working Quarry, Rating: ♦♦

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Church Ope Cove

Church Cove is a peaceful location, where you can find bivalves, oysters, trace fossils and ammonites. However, it is difficult to access because the headlands (which need to be passed) are very rocky. Nevertheless, you should be able to find plenty of blocks containing the Basal Shell Bed, which are full of bivalves. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦

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Bowleaze Cove

The Oxford Clay and the Corallian Beds at Bowleaze Cove in Weymouth (Furzy Cliff) can yield bivalves and ammonites and in the past the clay was particularly rich in marine reptile remains. Giant fossil oyster shells are also plentiful. These locations are best after scouring tides and/or rain, so you will need wellington boots or good walking boots, as the terrain is tough at Redcliff Point. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Ringstead Bay

Ringstead Bay is a wonderful location, with rocks and fossils from the Corallian, Kimmeridge Clay, Purbeck Beds and Portland Beds to be found. The site consists mostly of Kimmeridge Clay from the Upper Jurassic. It is rich in fossils and with easy parking, toilets and refreshments nearby; it’s an ideal, safe location for the family. The site is productive in either direction from the access point. This location is also just a short walk away from other good sites and makes for an ideal day trip. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Kimmeridge Bay

If you are intending to use Kimmeridge Bay as the start of a trip to get to other nearby sites, this can be one of the most dangerous locations for fossil hunting. The tides have cut many people off in the past. Kimmeridge Bay and the adjacent cliffs and foreshore are rich in ammonites, reptiles and shells, but the best collecting sites to the east are a long walk if you are planning to look for fossils along the coastline from Kimmeridge Bay to Chapman’s Pool. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Gristhorpe

This is a very good location if you are into plant remains. The Gristhorpe Plant Bed yields some of the best specimens in Yorkshire. There is a wide variety of plants too, but ammonites and shells can also be found at this location. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Yaxley (Hampton Vale)

Most of the old clay pits have been swallowed up by the building of huge housing estates to the south of Peterborough. However, one area at Yaxley has been left as a nature area, with public byways taking you around the rim of the pits, which are now filled with water. On the banks, the Oxford Clay is rich in fossils. Jurassic, Lake Embankment, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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King’s Dyke Pit

Famous for its high number of reptile remains, this location has been the site of some complete skeletons in the past, but also yields fish remains, ammonites, belemnites, bivalves, brachiopods and crinoids. There is also a ‘fossil hunting area’ in the disused part of the pit, which the general public can collect from and which is regularly replenished from spoil from the main pit. Jurassic, Working Quarry, Rating: ♦♦

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Old Sulehay

This is a small disused quarry with a nature trail through the middle of it. There are heaps of oolitic spoil everywhere, which contain bivalves (in particular, oysters) and brachiopods. If you are lucky, ammonites can also be found, although they are uncommon. Jurassic, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦

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Rocken End

In a peaceful corner of the Isle of Wight, Rocken End is a less visited location with a small inland quarry. It is ideal for anyone interested in ammonites and other molluscs, and also makes for an excellent day out for all the family. Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Beer Head

The chalk at Beer Head is very hard, unless you are lucky enough to find boulders on the foreshore from the softer beds at the top of the cliffs. There are a huge variety of echinoid species to be found here and the location is also well known for ammonites, brachiopods and bivalves. Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Swanage

This Cretaceous site represents an alternative to the many Jurassic sites of Dorset. It yields fossils from the chalk, including echinoids, bivalves, brachiopods and ammonites. However, fossils here are, less common than other chalk locations in Dorset. Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦