Tag: Fossils

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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: ♦♦♦

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Withernsea

This is 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. This site is not so fast eroding as others, but is still a location where fossils can be found. Erratics (Jurassic, Carboniferous, Cretaceous), Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Bessingby

This small disused quarry, was once a good location for ammonites, echinoids, belemnites, sponges and molluscs. Sadly today, the quarry is nearly all overgrown with just a small section of bedrock that is not covered up. Still worth a visit if in the area. Cretaceous, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦

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Aust cliff

The famous red and white cliffs that can be seen when crossing the River Severn contain a highly productive bone bed at the top from the Rhaetian Penarth series. This bed is full of teeth, and reptile and fish remains, and is the most productive Triassic site in the UK. Triassic, Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Sedbury cliff

On the opposite side of the River Severn from the famous Aust Cliff, there are the much less famous Sedbury Cliffs. At what first appears to be a location similar but far less productive than Aust, it is actually a very productive location for Jurassic fossils. Triassic, Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Westbury on Severn

Further up the River Severn from the other classic sites, such as Aust and Hock Cliff, Westbury-on-Severn (also known as Garden Cliff) is one of the finest localities for collecting from the famous Rhaetian- aged bone bed from the Penarth Group. Out of all of the localities along the Severn, this has the most rapid erosion. Triassic, Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Gilberts Grave

This is a disused railway cutting, hidden away in a thick forest. The small cutting has good exposures of Inferior Oolite and this location is well documented for its Clypeus sinuatus flat echinoids, but many brachiopods and bivalves can also be found. Jurassic, Disused Railway Cutting, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Whitecroft Spoil

The Forest of Dean is full of evidence of past coal mining. This old spoil head in Whitecroft, although overgrown, contains some excellent shale full of fossil plants. It is a shame the site is so overgrown, which means you will need to do some digging. Carboniferous, Spoil, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Leckhampton Hill

A pleasant few hours can be spent at Leckhampton Hill. There are numerous old quarry faces with piles of scree to investigate. Fossils are not abundant but, with patience, some should be collected. The views from this hill are impressive and the walk to the various sites is an enjoyable (if hilly) one. Jurassic, Outcrops, Disused Quarries, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Hock Cliff

For those who have visited Watchet in Somerset looking for fossils in the Blue Lias, this location will seem remarkably similar. Indeed, the same fossils can be found in thick limestone bands and soft shale. Hock Cliff is a classic Jurassic location to explore. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Wainlode Cliff

Wainlode Cliff is a less popular location for collecting fossils from the Triassic bone beds of the Rhaetic aged rocks of the Westbury Formation than, for example, Aust. The cliff height is quite impressive, but the problem is this location is more overgrown than others, and does not wash out as regularly. The taller cliffs also mean that the bone bed is inaccessible and unfortunately rarely falls.
Triassic, Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦

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Soudley Valley

Soudley Valley has a geological trail, taking you through the geological features of the Forest of Dean. One of the locations on the trail features a spoil heap of Carboniferous coal measures, where you can find fossil plants. This guide concentrates on this location.Carboniferous, Spoil, Rating: ♦♦

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Crickley Hill

Crickley Hill is now part of a national park, where there is an official geological trail with an Iron Age hill fort nearby. There are a few sites along the official guide taking you through the geological history of the area, but this guide concentrates on the Crickley Member (formerly known as Pea Grit) quarry of the Birdlip Limestone. Jurassic, Disused Quarries, Scree, Rating: ♦

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Kilmarie

Various fossils, such as belemnites and bivalves, can be found along the beautiful and unspoilt coastline to the southeast of Kilmarie. Views from the beach are magnificent. 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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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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Redcar

This location is mostly suited to children, with plenty of rolled fossils and fragments to be found in a safe environment. Fossils can simply be picked up along a shingle bank. And the location is close to toilets, food and drink, and excellent parking.Jurassic, 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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Beadnell

Blocks of shale packed with Carboniferous brachiopods and more can be collected at Beadnell. The location is a great one to explore. It has excellent access and is also suitable for children.Carboniferous, Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Scremerston

A good location at which to find a range of Carboniferous fossils, including crinoidal limestone and corals, as well as plant remains and trace fossils in sandstone. Carboniferous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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North Foreland

This stretch of chalk coastline can be accessed from Broadstairs to the south or Joss Bay to the north. Fossils can be found both in the chalk and in the abundant flint pebbles on the foreshore. Common finds include echinoids (sea urchins) and sponges. Cretaceous, 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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Dalmellington Tip

When visiting the village of Dalmellington, you cannot help but see the huge spoil heap. This is now disused, but contains plenty of material to search through, including black shale that is rich in fish remains. Plant remains can also be found. Carboniferous, Spoil Heap, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Seatown

During scouring tides, Seatown turns into an ‘ammonite kingdom’. They can simply be picked up along the foreshore and, therefore, the location is ideal for children. There is also a superb pub with views of Golden Cap. Fossils can be found all year round, as can microfossils and minerals. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, 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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Dob’s Linn

Dob’s Linn is a famous location for graptolites and, indeed, is one of the best, and you can collect many different species form the shale. However, the location can be hard to find, but it is well worth the trip. Be sure you bring paper to wrap up your specimens. Ordovician, Silurian, Cuttings, Outcrops, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Charmouth

The Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site is one of the most famous and most popular Jurassic locations in the world, yielding plenty of fossils for the thousands that come collecting every year. And Charmouth is at the heart of it all. This geological guide features both the cliffs of Black Ven and Stonebarrow, and information on the local area of Charmouth. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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East Mersea

East Mersea can be very popular in the summer, as it is a beautiful area, not far from Colchester. The foreshore is made up of London Clay, with a few sharks’ teeth to be found. This site is also well documented for OIS5 and OIS6 Pleistocene deposits, rich in (among other things) the teeth from small mammals and the shells of molluscs. Pleistocene, Eocene, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Monsal Dale

Monsal Dale, near Little Longstone, is set among breathtaking scenery. Carboniferous fossils can be found here, such as crinoid pieces in limestone and chert. Carboniferous, Outcrops, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Woodland Bay

The rocks at Shalloch (to the south of Girvan) to Whitehouse, including Woodland Bay, contain fossil graptolites and trilobites. Girvan is a well-documented area for fossils and is one of the most popular areas to collect in Scotland. This foreshore location is easy to access, but you will need the correct tools. Ordovician, Silurian, Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Aldons Quarry

The volcanic rocks at Aldons Quarry contain a variety of Ordovician fossils, including trilobites, brachiopods, bivalves, cephalopods, gastropods, graptolites and goniatites. They can be found in mudstones, which can be seen in the scree slopes. Ordovician, Disused Quarry, 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: ♦♦♦