Tag: Carboniferous

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Malahide Beach (Non-UK)

To the east of Malahide town centre is a small beach on which it is easy to find loose carboniferous fossils and limestone pebbles containing beautifully preserved crinoids, bryozoans, bivalves, corals and brachiopods. The pebbles are washed out from exposures along the local coastline, including foreshore platforms found between Malahide and nearby Portmarnock.Carboniferous, Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Hook Head (Non-UK)

Southeast of Waterford and southwest of Wexford is the Hook Head peninsula, which is remarkable for the abundant, beautifully preserved Carboniferous fossils, at its furthest reach by the Hook Lighthouse. The outcrops around Hook Head consist of abundant exposures of Lower Carboniferous rocks in foreshore platforms, containing beautifully preserved crinoids, bryozoans, bivalves, corals and brachiopods. The cliffs and platforms are protected, but many loose fragments can be found containing significant numbers of jumbled fossils of all types, with superbly preserved detail.Carboniferous, Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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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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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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Bellyford Burn

Following the Bellyford Burn is the disused Pencaitland Railway. This track is now used by cyclists, runners and walkers, and is a lovely walk. The old railway has boards along its way, detailing how coal was mined, and providing information about the old railway. In the middle of the walk are two very large spoil heaps that contain fossil plants from the Carboniferous shale.
Carboniferous, Spoil heaps, 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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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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Seaham

Seaham is a Carboniferous coal measure spoil heap, which was dumped in front of magnesium limestone cliffs at the old Dawdon Colliery. The reserves are so extensive that they have provided years of interesting collecting from spoil, which is gradually being washed by the sea. The colliery closed in 1991, but the tall cliffs of spoil continue to yield well-preserved plants. Carboniferous, Spoil, Cliffs, Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Betteshanger

Betteshanger (formerly Fowlmead) Coutry Park is a great site for Carboniferous plants, which are abundant and come from Kent’s former Betteshanger Colliery. Fossils are found in spoil, which is maintained by Geoconservation Kent Rigs. This is a perfect site for all the family, which is easy to access. Carboniferous, Spoil, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Besom Hill

At first site, Besom Hill can seem fairly poor for fossils. However, if you can find the thin Bullion Mine Marine Band, you will change your mind. This band of rock is highly fossiliferous and includes fish teeth, scales, fin spines and other remains. Goniatites and bivalves are also common within this layer. Carboniferous, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Newhey Quarry

Newhey Quarry is full of Calamities (fossil stems of giant, tree-like horsetails), bivalves, and brachiopods. Some of the most interesting finds at this site are the superb trace fossils, including ripple marks, worm burrows and ‘fish marks’.Carboniferous, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Offerton

Offerton is superb for fossil ferns, roots and trunks, which can all be found in a small river cutting. The specimens are very well preserved and the brownish leaves are much clearer to see here than at most other Carboniferous plant locations. This is an outstanding site where you will certainly come back with many good quality specimens. Carboniferous, Stream Cutting, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Chilcompton

The Chilcompton site is an old spoil heap form coal mining days, with a publically accessible footpath through the middle. Although now overgrown, the footpath still provides coal measure shale debris, which yields plant remains. Carboniferous, Spoil, 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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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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Maer Cliff

Maer Cliff is accessed from the popular tourist beach of Northcott Mouth. The most common finds here are from the Upper Carboniferous and consist of plant and fish remains, together with burrows and tracks within nodules. In addition, plants and fish scales can be found loose within the layers of shale. The site is easily accessed and suitable for children. Carboniferous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Upton Cross

Upton Cross is situated between Widemouth Bay and Bude. The Bude Formation, which is Carboniferous in age, sandwiches outcrops of shale at two areas of the cliff and foreshore. These contain nodules that yield fish remains, worm tubes and tracks. Carboniferous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦

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Bude

The Bude Formation, magnificently exposed in the cliffs of this popular tourist destination, is poor in fossils. However, the formation does boast a unique, 300-million-year-old fish, the goldfish-sized Cornuboniscus budensis, found nowhere else in the world! Plentiful crinoids and solitary corals can be seen (but not collected) in quarried limestone blocks used to build parts of Bude breakwater in the early 1800s). Carboniferous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦

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Widemouth Bay

Widemouth Bay contains a number of popular holiday parks, situated with easy access to the sandy beach. This is a well-known tourist hot-spot, especially for surfers, yet few realise that it has spectacular geological features and yields a variety of Upper Carboniferous fossils. Carboniferous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Strawberry Wood

This is a disused Carboniferous limestone quarry, within a small wood. It is very rich in fossils. Studies indicate important changes in the palaeo-environments of the deposits and in the varied macrofossil assemblages from the surrounding Carboniferous sediments, which are of similar age. Due to the importance of the site, keep collecting to a minimum. Carboniferous, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Haddington

The River Tyne is a long and beautiful river. Its tributaries wind their way down from the glacially eroded Lammermoor and Pentland Hills. The river gains volume as it crosses the alluvial plain, cutting through the carboniferous country rock, transporting minerals and fossils along the way. Carboniferous, River Section, Rating: ♦♦♦

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West Quarry

This is a large quarry owned by the National Stone Centre. It exposes the Eyam Limestone Formation, which is full of excellent corals, crinoids, bivalves and brachiopods. Access is easy by entering the National Stone Centre. Carboniferous, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Marsh Brook

Marsh Brook cuts through Carboniferous marine deposits. These are rich in goniatites, bivalves and gastropods, but also contain many other types of fossils. Often, these are not particularly well preserved, being flattened, but the shale is also extremely rich in well-preserved microfossils. Carboniferous, Stream Embankment, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Butts Quarry

In this large, disused quarry, not only can you see plenty of fossils, but the site is rich in the minerals, galena, fluorite and calcite. It has very steep sides, with plenty of rocks to look through around the edges of the quarry. Carboniferous, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Castleton

Castleton has long been known for its Carboniferous Limestone, its caves and for the Blue John semi-precious stone mined here. Much of the area is owned by the National trust and is designated an site of special scientific interest (SSSI). This means that fossils can only be looked at and photographed, but must not be collected. Carboniferous, Outcrops, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Steeplehouse Quarry

This somewhat overgrown quarry is owned by the National Stone Centre. It exposes the Eyam Limestone Formation, rich in crinoids and molluscs. Large blocks have been left on the quarry floor, in the past, the bedding surfaces of these slabs has yielded shark remains. Carboniferous, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦

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Tunstall

For those staying at the popular Sand La Mere caravan site, this is a first point of call. However, even if you are not staying, it is worth a visit. At low tide, the low foreshore is covered in rocks and of particular interest is the large number of carboniferous corals. Erratics (Jurassic, Carboniferous, Cretaceous), Cliffs and Foreshore, 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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Auchinleck Tip

This spoil heap is partly still being used and partly disused. Most of the waste material contains limestone and shale that is poor in fossil remains. However if you can find the right rocks, then plant remains can be found. However, these are often poorly preserved, but, as with all tips, you never know what you might find. Carboniferious, Spoil Heap, 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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Halkyn

Surrounding the massive working limestone quarry just outside Halkyn are many smaller disused workings and old piles of waste material. In places, good quality brachiopods, corals and crinoidal limestone can be found.Carboniferous, Disused Quarry, 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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Seaton Sluice

Seaton Sluice at the north end of Whitley Bay is an excellent chance to collect fossils from the Carboniferous coal measures. Coal itself can be seen in the rocks which are also rich in plant remains, corals and bivalves. An easy location to access and fossils are common. Carboniferous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Dalmellington Burns

There are a few burns around the village of Dalmellington, which have cut into fossiliferous Carboniferous shale. The most common finds are mussels, but plant remains can also be found. This location is best visited after a dry spell, because, if the water is too high, the beds are not exposed. Carboniferious, Stream Cutting, Rating: ♦♦

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Saltcoats

A small area at Saltcoats yields plant remains. Although much of the rich Carboniferous beds have been washed away by the sea, and fresh beds have not been exposed due to the sea defence, you can still occasionally find plant remains in the shale on the foreshore. However, most of the shale today is unproductive. Carboniferous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦