Tag: Brachiopods

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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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Upper Gilwern Quarry

On the edge of the Brecon Beacons, Upper Gilwern Hill is a site long known for its well-preserved and complete trilobites. The hill is made up of rocks from the Lower and Middle Ordovician, and the privately owned quarry is accessible to parties staying at the onsite Shepherd’s Hut self catering accommodation. The trilobite fossils here are plentiful and the chances of finding a good number is very high. Ordovician, Private Quarry, 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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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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Roade

A few scattered rocks can be seen along the banks of the footpath, within this very old and overgrown railway cutting. The rocks are from the Blisworth Limestone Formation and are rich in fossils, such as echinoids and brachiopods. This site is designated as an SSSI, so hammering is not permitted on any of the rocks here. Jurassic, Disused Railway Cutting, 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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Rusey Cliff

Rusey Cliff is one of the few places in Cornwall where well-preserved fossils can be collected. Plant remains can be found in slabs of the Lower Carboniferous-aged Boscastle Formation, and corals, brachiopods and goniatites can be found in similar aged limestone rocks along the foreshore. The site can be accessed by walking along a cliff top footpath, which takes you through a large area of landslip. Carboniferous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Lee Bay

Lee Bay is a coastal location just to the west of the Valley of the Rocks. It features similar, but more fossiliferous rocks than those found at the Valley of the Rocks, but the site is harder to collect from and the cliffs are not easy to access. The sea always reaches the cliffs at the headlands, even at the lowest tide, and the best sections will require some climbing over large rocks. Devonian, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦

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Seven Sisters

This site is world famous for its highly fossiliferous chalk, which is packed with a wide range of different echinoids, brachiopods, bivalves and crinoids. This is one of the best chalk locations in the UK for its variety of fossils and is recommended to all keen chalk fossil hunters. Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Bognor Regis

Bognor can be an outstanding London Clay location. Unlike the classic sites of Kent and Essex, this site yields insects, plant remains and a large number of brachiopods and bivalves. Some of these shells are enormous. When beach conditions are favourable, expect to find lots. Eocene, 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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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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Cleeve Common

There are many old quarries on the west side of the elevated golf course at Cleeve Hill and on top of the common itself. Fossils are varied and abundant, and plenty can be collected from scree below the faces. However, the in situ rock should not be hammered. Views from the top of Cleeve Common, the highest hill in Gloucestershire, are stunning. Jurassic, Disused Quarries, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Howick

This secluded location offers a surprisingly varied selection of fossils over a little more than a kilometre of coastline. Trilobites, crinoid pieces, corals, brachiopods, plant fossils, trace fossils and more can be found here. Carboniferous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Glenmard Wood

This is a very productive little quarry that is easy to access. It is an occasionally worked quarry, which is fully accessible from the trackway. This means fresh faces and scree are available to search through. Take plenty of paper for bags of finds, but, be warned, it involves quite a long walk. Ordovician, Part Working Quarry, 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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Ardwell Bay

Ardwell Bay, south of Girvan, is the best coastal location in the area for finding fossils. Graptolites are the most common, with orthocone fragments and trilobites also being quite common. In addition, brachiopods can be found. The rocks you need to split are easy to identify, being black when weathered. Ordovician, Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Craighead Quarry

Ordovician rocks at Craighead Quarry are very fossiliferous and this disused quarry is often visited by local schools and colleges to study the fossils and geology at this site. While it is now quite overgrown, there is still plenty to be found. The most common finds are graptolites, brachiopods, trilobites and goniatites. Ordovician, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Moel Findeg

Moel Findeg is a small but very prominent hill on the eastern edge of the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Corals, brachiopods and crinoids can be found in spoil, which is regularly turned over, as it is used by a local farmer to repair their farm tracks. Access is fully permitted even though it is on private land. Carboniferous, Spoil Heap, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Burley Hill

There are three sites at Burley Hill, giving the opportunity to collect Carboniferous corals and brachiopods from a small cutting, scree slopes and the hillside. There is plenty to be found here and it makes for a fantastic day out. It is also within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Carboniferous, Cuttings and Scree, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Llangollen

Llangollen is Carboniferous Limestone scenery heaven. About a kilometre and a half north of the town, the Eglwyseg Escarpment presents some really fantastic views. What’s more, among the huge amount of scree that covers its scarp slope, fossil brachiopods and corals can be found. Carboniferous, Scree Slope, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Crook Ness

The Long Nab Member exposed at Crook Ness yields the occasional plant remains or brachiopod. However, fossils are not easy to find and this location is overgrown in places, but is ideal for an alternative day out (but not recommended if time is limited). Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, 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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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: ♦♦♦

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Samphire Hoe

The Lower Chalk exposed at Samphire Hoe is highly fossiliferous. Brachiopods are most commonly found, with corals, urchins, ammonites, sharks’ teeth and more also present. Microfossils are extremely abundant within the chalk and can be extracted relatively easily from rock samples taken home Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Kennedy’s Pass

At Kennedy’s Pass, there is a formation that is full of conglomerate units, mudstones, siltstones and sandstones. Within this, you can find a wide range of fossils, including trilobites, graptolites, corals and brachiopods. However, they are not easy to find. The productive beds are lower down, which are mostly covered up by the less productive upper beds. Ordovician, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Aberlady

This is a peaceful location where fantastic bryozoans can be seen in Carboniferous rocks. You can also find many slabs of the tracks of trilobites, preserved in the mud over which they crawled. Fish and the trilobites themselves can also be found here. Carboniferous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Freshwater East

The bay at Freshwater East is a great location for the whole family. The sandy beach is ideal for children and, as it is so large, it is unlikely to become crowded even in the height of summer. Fossils are fairly abundant and are easy to find. Carboniferous, Devonian, Silurian, Ordovician, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Manorbier Bay

Some excellent geological features can be seen within Manorbier Bay and also from the clifftop path that leads southeast from the location. Crinoids and other fossils are abundant, and can be found in pebbles in the stream that crosses the sandy beach. Devonian, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Wenlock Edge

Many Silurian fossils, such as crinoid pieces, corals and brachiopods, can be collected at this National Trust managed limestone escarpment. The tourist information centre and museum in Much Wenlock is also worth a visit to learn a little more about the location and to view fossils from the area. Silurian, Cutting, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Elie

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: ♦♦♦♦