Tag: Bivalves

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Craigielaw Point

To the north of the sandy Gosford Bay beach is an outcrop that is incredibly rich in Carboniferous marine fossils. Corals, bryozoans, crinoids and brachiopods are all very common. They are easy to collect and the location is ideal for children, especially for finding the tumbled coral pebbles. The sandy beach is full of pools of water, making a fun family day out, especially in the summer.
Carboniferous, Foreshore Outcrops, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Keates Quarry

Two separate locations near Worth Matravers provide an opportunity to see where, 140mya, sauropod dinosaurs gathered at the shoreline of a shallow lagoon and to visit their incredible trackways. The nearby quarry provides bivalves, gastropods, fish remains, turtle bones and carapace fragments, mammal teeth and bones, and plant remains from this bygone environment. Cretaceous, Quarry (permission required) and Attraction, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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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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Cogden Beach

The beach at Cogden, near West Bexington, is next to Hive Beach at Burton Bradstock. It is a popular walk for families and dog walkers, with Hive Beach cafe and toilets a short stroll away. At Cogden Beach, the cliffs are made up of the Jurassic Frome Clay and bivalves and brachiopods are the most common fossils. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Pirates Cove

The small section of Corallian cliff at Pirates cove provides the collector with an abundant and varied fauna of gastropods and bivalves, as well as echinoids. With easy access, provided the tide is favourable, it is an ideal spot for a productive hour or two, not far from other sites. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Langton Herring

Langton Herring is both a productive and geologically interesting site. The long, but stunning walk along the South West Coastal path has some wonderful scenery. This location is really for the specialist collector or those who love walking. The site yields a wide variety of brachiopods, echinoids, worm tubes, bryozoans, bivalves (especially oysters) and corals, although, in recent years, it has become over collected. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Houghton Quarry

Houghton Quarry is an abandoned quarry, formerly used to extract chalk for a cement works onsite (which is no longer there). Quarrying stopped about 40 years ago, but, due to its size and terracing, only parts are overgrown, leaving an enormous amount of clean chalk. A large amount of this consists of boulders of various sizes on the quarry floor, yielding many good fossils. Collecting is not allowed here. Cretaceous, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Little Wern

Tucked away in the fold of a valley near Llandrindod Wells, in Mid Wales, sits Little Wern holiday cottage. The cottage has its own small quarry, which is solely open to visitors staying there. And what’s more, it is stuffed full of trilobite remains. Ordovician, Private Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Cwm Craig Ddu

Cwm Craig Ddu is a roadside section found to the east of Llangammarch Wells, along the B4519. A disused quarry (now overgrown) is also present on the hilltop, but fossils can really only now be found along the cutting. Early fossil plants and small bivalves can be collected here. This site is a SSSI, so hammering the bedrock is strictly prohibited. Silurian, Roadside Cutting, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Brown’s Folly

Brown’s Folly is located in a nature reserve. Fossils can be found everywhere in the old quarries in the area and many exposures of Great Oolite can be seen. The reserve is managed by the Avon Wildlife Trust and kept clear by the Bath Geological Society. The site is an SSSI, so no hammering on the bedrock is allowed, but loose material can be picked up and collected. Jurassic, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦

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Stocker Hole

Stocker Hole is a large disused quarry to the south of Radstock, The quarry has a footpath running right through the middle and contains Carboniferous Black Rock Limestone. Corals, and brachiopods are the most common fossils here, with Bryozoans also being found. Carboniferous, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Crackington Haven

Crackington Haven is a small, but popular location, which has outstanding views. Fossils have been found on both sides of this small cove, but unfortunately it has become over collected. Today, fossils can be difficult to find and those within the bedrock are SSSI protected. Carboniferous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦

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Beltinge (Herne Bay)

Beltinge (Herne Bay) is one of the most popular locations for collecting sharks’ teeth in the UK, especially for international visitors. You can usually find teeth all year round, but this location is best visited during extremely low tides, such as spring tides. At these times, fossil hunters across the UK and Europe flock to Herne Bay to visit its highly fossiliferous beds. Eocene, Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Reculver

The east of Herne Bay marks a dramatic change from rich fossil-bearing Eocene clays to the sandy cliffs of Reculver. Although sharks’ teeth do occur in the Thanet Sands, this location is mainly for those interested in collecting bivalves. These are found within foreshore exposures and the shell beds exposed within the cliff. Eocene, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Wye Downs

There are several old quarries and pits around the Wye Downs. These cover two chalk formations – the Holywell Nodular Chalk Formation and New Pit Formation. One particularly accessible quarry is featured in this guide, which cuts through the New Pit Formation. Brachiopods are most common fossils here. Cretaceous, Disused Quarries, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Bracklesham Bay

There are nearly always people collecting at Bracklesham Bay. Fossils can simply be found washed up on the sand, and you can normally come back with bags full of decent finds, especially sharks’ teeth. During scouring tides, the fossiliferous Bracklesham Formation form the Eocene is exposed and the beach can be covered with ray and sharks’ teeth, and also bivalve shells. Occasionally, you can find corals, but you will definitely find lots of the often overlooked, large, single-celled foraminifera (Nummulites laevigatus). Eocene, 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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Park Farm Cutting

The Park Lane site is a road cutting in Pulborough that exposes the Sandgate Formation. Hard ironstones within the layer yield a variety of well-preserved bivalves. Although overgrown, the ironstones are highly fossiliferous. Therefore, once the bed is located, plenty of specimens should be found. Cretaceous, Roadside Cutting, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Little Bognor Common

In the middle of this public common is a working sand pit. Since it is on public land, there are no restrictions on collecting and you can collect from the spoil heaps and sides of the pit itself, away from the main site. With permission, you can also enter the main pit. Cretaceous, Working Pit, 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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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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Latchmoor Brook

Latchmoor Brook is one of the only places where you can collect fossils in the New Forest. They come from the uppermost Bracklesham Group sediments and the lowermost Barton Clay. The stream and banks are very shallow, which makes collecting here far easier than other stream-based locations. Gastropods, bivalves and fish remains are all common here. Eocene, Stream, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Milford on Sea

Milford on Sea provides an excellent opportunity to collect a wide range of fossil seeds from the Headon Hill Formation. These are in very good condition, but you will need to take samples home for processing using a sieve. Ironstones can also be found containing bivalves and gastropods. Eocene, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Beckton Bunny

At Beckton Bunny, the continuation of the Barton Beds yield brachiopods, gastropods and bivalves. However, the shells are far more sporadic than at Barton on Sea and tend often to be broken. During scouring, exposure of the Chama Beds yields the best specimens. Eocene, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦

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Filey

Filey Brigg is a very famous foreshore platform that extends a long way out at low tide. Many walk along the Brigg, but often do not realise that superb plants and shells can be collected near the cliffs next to it. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Robinswood Hill

The two large quarry faces at Robinswood hill are sites of special scientific interest (SSSI), as they expose the best inland section of early Jurassic rocks in the country. As such, fossil hunting is limited. However, some fossils may be collected from loose material and the views from the top of the hill are worth the walk. Jurassic, Disused Quarry, 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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Pentland Hills

This is an area extremely rich in Silurian fossils, but which is also a challenging place to collect fossils from. The locations discussed in the guide are suitable for those who are used to exploring and walking. However, it is a beautiful landscape, with many different types of fossils to be collected. In fact, the area is famous for its rich diversity of fossil species, some of which are unique. Silurian, Cuttings, Outcrops, Disused Quarries, Streams, 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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Elgol

Elgol offers beautiful scenery, with a view of the Black Cuillin rising 3,000 feet straight out of the sea, and the guarantee of finding fossils. The sheer number of bivalve fossils crammed into certain layers of rock here is staggering. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Skinningrove

This new town may not be the prettiest in Cleveland, but is an ideal location for anyone interested in trace fossils. Fossil ripple marks and worm tubes are quite frequent; and bivalves are also very common. However, there is a large number of rocks along the beach, making walking difficult. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦

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Glasnakille

To visit the entire Glasnakille stretch of coastline and to see its various bays and headlands, it must be accessed at three different places. The sea here reaches the plunging cliffs even at low tide. However, the scenery is worth the effort, even if fossil numbers are on the low side. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦

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Cloughton Wyke

Cloughton Wyke is an excellent location for finding plant remains. The beds are rich in a variety of flora and collecting is fairly easy. Bivalves can also be found here, along with trace fossils, such as ripple marks and burrows. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Portishead

Portishead is an interesting location with both Carboniferous and Devonian rocks. At Battery Point, many corals and crinoids can be collected from the rocks on the foreshore and there are plenty to be found. Further along Woodhill Bay, fish remains are also commonly found. Carboniferous, Devonian, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Weston-Super-Mare

Weston-super-Mare is a fascinating geological location. Underwater volcanoes during the Carboniferous period sometimes buried life forms and preserved them in the rocks now exposed on the foreshore and cliff. Well-preserved corals, bryozoans, algae, bivalves and brachiopods can be found. Carboniferous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Hopes Nose

Hopes Nose is a headland two miles east of Torquay, which forms a finger-like rocky tip at the northern end of Torbay. All around this area are fossils, together with remnants of extinct corals which were formed when the Devonian seas were relatively shallow. The best place to see these is on the foreshore at Hope’s Nose when the tide is low. It’s in this area where you’ll also find Devonshire cup corals (Caryophyllia smithii) and brachiopods. Hope’s Nose is an SSSI location, so collecting from, or hammering the bedrock, is not permitted. However, it remains one of the most famous locations for Devonian corals, trilobites and bivalves in the UK. In fact, the Natural History Museum in London has many specimens on display from this site. Devonian, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Hunstanton

The famous red and white cliffs of Hunstanton are visited by thousands of people each year simply to see this spectacular natural geological feature. The Red Rock and White Lower Chalk are rich in fossils including echinoids, fish, sharks’ teeth, bivalves and brachiopods, ammonites and more. Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Upper Millichope

This is a stream section, which has been cut back into highly fossiliferous Silurian rocks. Plenty of excellent corals can be found, along with brachiopods, bivalves and trilobites. Most of the fossils have been washed out from the rocks and are just lying in the stream. Silurian, Stream, Rating: ♦♦♦