Tag: Corals

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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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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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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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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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Steeple Ashton

The fields around Steeple Ashton in Wiltshire yield a large number of superb corals when they are ploughed, which are accessible by public footpaths. This guide examines one such field, which is south of the road to the Keevil Airfield and, because this field is regularly ploughed, contains well-preserved corals. It also has access by means of a good public footpath. Jurassic, Ploughed Fields, 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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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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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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Hornsea

This location is constantly being eroded by the sea and there are a large number of rocks all over the beach to look through. In fact, it is one of the best along the Holderness Coastline to collect fossils, with plenty of fresh material revealed after every tide. Erratics (Jurassic, Carboniferous, Cretaceous), Cliffs and Foreshore, 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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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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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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Watton Cliff

Watton Cliff, part of West Cliff at West Bay and is an excellent location for collecting microfossils. While the site is also very rich in other fossils (such as brachiopods, crinoids, fish, sharks’ teeth, crocodiles, amphibians and plants), this guide concentrates more on the microfossils, including small mammals, fish, reptiles and ostracods, which are well preserved and abundant. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Sheringham

Near the lifeboat station on the foreshore, chalk is exposed during scouring conditions. Corals and shark remains have been found at this location at these times, although scouring only happens a few times a year. If you do visit during favourable conditions, you should find some nice specimens. Cretaceous, 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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Overstrand

Overstrand is a foreshore collecting location. Chalk is exposed during low tide, especially during scouring conditions or winter/spring months. The chalk is highly fossiliferous, yielding many echinoids, sponges and molluscs. Pleistocene, Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Helmsdale

Helmsdale is the best place to collect Jurassic fossils in Scotland. Geologists have been fascinated by the strange ‘Boulder Beds’ for many years and some questions have remained unanswered as to how the beds were formed. The area is rich in reptile remains, giant corals, fish remains and the occasional ammonite. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Portgower

What looks like an ordinary rocky beach, covered in seaweed, is actually rich in corals, ammonites and shells, although you need to work hard to find them. At Portgower, the rocks exposed are from the Jurassic and, if you split them, can yield flat ammonites and shells. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Ramsholt

Ramsholt is one of the best locations for fossils in Suffolk, yielding sharks’ teeth, lobsters, fruit and shells from the London Clay, shells, sharks’ teeth from the Red Crag, corals, echinoids from the Coralline, and complete crabs, fish remains and sharks’ teeth from the basement bed. Eocene, Pliocene, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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West Runton

This is the location of the famous ‘West Runton Elephant’ find. From the West Runton Fresh Water Bed, mammal and fish remains are common, along with freshwater shells. On the foreshore, during scouring tides, the chalk yields echinoids and sponges. Pleistocene, Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Pendower Beach

The Devonian rocks at Pendower Beach contain shell impressions, but are poorly preserved and trilobites are extremely rare. However, as with all Cornish fossil locations, this site is mainly for fossil enthusiasts and geologists who are not expecting lots of finds, but who can appreciate an interesting location. Devonian, 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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Ketton Quarry

Ketton Quarry is over a mile wide – its size has to be seen to be believed. The rocks here contain ammonites, corals, brachiopods, bivalves, fish and reptile remains, and much, much more. This is a superb location to visit. The quarry has recently been designated SSSI status. Jurassic, Working Quarry, 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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Daddy Hole

Daddy Hole was once a highly productive quarry, but now forms part of the Torquay coastline. It is rich in Devonian corals and is now an SSSI. Corals can be found in both the quarry and scree slopes on the foreshore. Devonian, Cliffs, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦