Tag: Fossil Collecting

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Wrabness

Along the Wrabness shoreline of the River Stour and after scouring tides or stormy seas, fossils are washed up from sediments from the Quaternary. These include bones of deer, horse and whale from the Red Crag, with turtles, shells, and shark and fish teeth within cement stones and pyrite concretions from the London Clay. Pliocene, Eocene, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Stansgate

Stansgate is situated along the south side of the River Blackwater and is east of the classic London Clay sites of Maylandsea and Steeple. Like these two other sites, phosphate nodules containing lobsters and crabs can be found, with sharks’ teeth and fish remains found loose in the shingle. Eocene, 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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Bearreraig Bay

Skye features a complete sequence of 400m of the Jurassic history. The entire coast from Portree to Staffin consists of fossiliferous Jurassic rocks. This guide features Bearreraig Bay fossils and some local information. Jurassic, 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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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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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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Chapel Point

The area around Skegness is a very popular tourist area. While Lincolnshire is not a great county for fossils, rocks washed down from the Holderness coastline are dumped along its beaches. At low tide, these rocks can be seen at Chapel Point. Erratics (Jurassic, Cretaceous, Carboniferous), 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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Trimingham

Trimingham has the youngest chalk on the UK mainland, from which a few shells can be found in a small cliff face. The chalk has actually been tilted and folded by glaciation, and is a geologically important site. There is easy access onto the beach, although the road turning is easily missed. Cretaceous, 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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Anderby Creek

Anderby Creek is a large sandy beach, ideal for children. At low tide, rocks washed down from the Holderness coastline can be found. They can be Carboniferous, Jurassic or Cretaceous in age and can contain various fossils, such as ammonites and shells. Erratics (Jurassic, Cretaceous, Carboniferous), 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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Hallaig

Hallaig is at the southern end of the Isle of Raasay. Fossils can be found along the east shore, and in burns and streams at various places on the island. Raasay boasts geology of international importance, and Hallaig is an excellent location to see it. 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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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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Holymoorside

In the village of Holymoorside, a public footpath takes you to a small quarry that yields small plant and stem remains from the Carboniferous Wingfield Flags Formation. Stem fragments are the most common find here. Carboniferous, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦

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Top Grange Quarry

Formerly part of Ketton Quarry, Top Grange Quarry has now been turned into a geological trail for anyone to visit and collect fossils. However, it has become quite overgrown, but you can still easily find fossils. Jurassic, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Rutland Water

The southeast side of Rutland Water, at Edith Weston, has oolitic rocks around the edges of the reservoir. These blocks are not particularly fossiliferous, but do contain the occasional bivalve. This location is worth a visit if in the local area (for example, visiting Top Grange Quarry – see our guide to this site). Jurassic, Reservoir Embankment, Rating: ♦

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Barton on Sea

The Barton Clay at Barton on Sea is famous for its hundreds of different species of shells, in particular, its gastropods. The beds are also rich in sharks’ teeth, fish and mammal remains. Sharks’ teeth at Barton can be picked up from the foreshore making this location ideal for all the family. Eocene, 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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Taddiford Gap

Taddiford Gap is a classic site and well documented for mammal and crocodile remains. Shark and other fish remains, along with a wide range of microfossils, can also be found. The latter can be found by sieving from the Crocodile and Mammal Beds. There is also a black bed of sediments containing a huge variety of fossils seeds. Eocene, Cliffs and Foreshore, 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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Lepe

During scouring conditions, The famous ‘elephant bed’ is exposed at Stansore point, yielding various mammal remains. To the western end of the car park, fossils can be found in the many blocks both along the footpath to the cliffs and the foreshore. At the western end, foreshore Eocene clays yield microfossils. Pleistocene, 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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Brownwich Cliff

At Brownwich Cliff, fossiliferous septarian nodules of Bracklesham age are washed onto the shore from offshore deposits. The cliffs at both Brownwich Cliff and Chilling Cliff can occasionally yield fossil molluscs, but the best deposits are those from below beach level, which are full of brachiopods and other molluscs. Pleistocene remains can also be found washed from the gravel beds. Pleistocene, Eocene, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Hengistbury Head

Hengistbury Head is at the most easterly end of Dorset and is a popular area for hikers. The cliffs are tall, but surrounded by water, with Christchurch Harbour just 400m round the corner to the east. These are Barton Age and are rich in fossil seeds. Therefore, this is an ideal location for the microfossil collector. Eocene, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Mundesley

Mundesley was once an important site for Cromer Forest Bed material, with a number of large vertebrate specimens being found from foreshore deposits. Today, the sea defence prevents this bed from being washed out, although the occasional bone can turn up. However, erratic fossils, mostly of flint echinoids and sponges, can be found. Pleistocene, Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦

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Sidestrand

The cliffs from Trimingham to Sidestrand are some of the most spectacular glacial formations along the northern Norfolk coast. These tall, rapidly eroding cliffs here display an array of various colours from the sands, tills and clays. Fossils are mostly Jurassic and Cretaceous erratics. Erratics (Jurassic, Cretaceous), Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦

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Gurnard Bay

Gurnard Bay is a classic location for finding insects. These are found in the Bembridge Marls (Eocene) and over 200 species have been found. Today, the famous insect bed has become less productive, but specimens can still be found. Oligocene, Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Thorness Bay

Thorness Bay sees a continuation of the Hamstead Beds, which can also be seen at Hamstead Bay and Yarmouth, and the start of the famous Insect Beds of the Bembridge Marls seen at Gurnard Bay. However, the beds are much thinner and less productive. Eocene, Oligocene, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Danes Dyke

Famous for its many species of sponges, Danes Dyke is a must go location for anyone into chalk fossils. In fact, this is the best location in the UK for sponges. Echinoids, bivalves, brachiopods and crinoids can all be found too. Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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South Ferriby Quarries

The South Ferriby Quarries used to be a classic site for fossil hunting. Since becoming disused and the land privately owned, the sites are now overgrown and/or have prohibited access. However, the back of these quarries are now being eroded by the River Humber. As a result, public access to the cliffs along the river banks provides plenty of opportunity to find fossils. Jurassic. Cretaceous, Disused Quarries, Cliffs, 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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Seasalter

The huge expanse of London Clay exposed on Seasalter’s foreshore lends the location a bleak atmosphere. It is not the most picturesque of fossil hunting sites, but occasionally stunning phosphatic fossils can be found. Perseverance is rewarded here. Eocene, Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Bridlington

The beach at Bridlington is popular with tourists and ideal for children. However, towards Sewerby, the beach becomes increasingly rocky and it is here you can find excellent fossil sponges. Despite these being more common at Bridlington, Sewerby is picked over by collectors, so you are more likely to come across something. Cretaceous, 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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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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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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Easington

Easington is more famous for its major gas terminal, but it is also another location along the Holderness Coastline, which is constantly being eroded. The boulder clay yields rocks from various ages in which you can find fossils. In particular, it is more chalky here than other locations along the coastline. Erratics (Jurassic, Carboniferous, Cretaceous), Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Ulrome

Ulrome is the nearest access to the beaches around Skipsea, which is another boulder clay location. Access is no longer possible at Skipsea, so fishermen come to Ulrome to catch their fish. The sea washes out fresh material daily with plenty of erratic rocks to look through on the beach. Erratics (Jurassic, Carboniferous, Cretaceous), Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦