Tag: Plants

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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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Parton Bay

Parton Bay is just north of Whitehaven and yields a variety of Carboniferous fossils from a mix of shale and limestone. There are no cliffs here, but material has been washed from the south and dumped from the former steel works and the coal mine that supplied it, containing plant remains, fish scales and corals. It is a safe and easy location, and is ideal for children. Carboniferous, 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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Cwm Craig Ddu

Cwm Craig Ddu is a roadside section found to the east of Llangammarch Wells, along the B4519. A disused quarry (now overgrown) is also present on the hilltop, but fossils can really only now be found along the cutting. Early fossil plants and small bivalves can be collected here. This site is a SSSI, so hammering the bedrock is strictly prohibited. Silurian, Roadside Cutting, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Craig-Y-Fro

This disused quarry is situated along the main A470 through the Brecon Beacons. The quarry also contains a waterfall, which keeps the faces clean. There is strictly a no hammering allowed, due to SSSI rules and because the site falls within the Brecon Beacons National Park. However, loose material can be collected from, especially at the base of the waterfall and from the stream running through the quarry. Devonian, Disused Quarry, 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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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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Rigg

This is a very dramatic location, but Rigg is one of the least visited fossils locations on Skye. The reason is that this is only for the experienced collector. It has a fascinating coastline of Lower and Middle Jurassic sediments. Rich in fossils, archaeology and local wildlife, Rigg is one of these places where safety and common sense must prevail. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, 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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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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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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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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Gristhorpe

This is a very good location if you are into plant remains. The Gristhorpe Plant Bed yields some of the best specimens in Yorkshire. There is a wide variety of plants too, but ammonites and shells can also be found at this location. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, 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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Studland Bay

The famous plant beds from the Poole Formation used to be found at Bournemouth, but, after the sea defence was constructed, this bed gradually became obscured and today it can hardly be seen. However, the Poole Formation can be found at Studland Bay, which also yields some plant remains. Eocene, Cretaceous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Hayburn Wyke

Hayburn Wyke is a superb location in Yorkshire for finding fossil plants. There are not many people who are aware of this location, due to it being missed out from the highly popular Yorkshire Geological Guide published by the Geologists’ Association. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Scalby Ness

Scalby Ness is another good location for collecting plant remains. It is not as highly productive as other Yorkshire locations, due to the limited area. However, you can still find some very good plant remains from the boulders on the foreshore. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Cloughton Wyke

Cloughton Wyke is an excellent location for finding plant remains. The beds are rich in a variety of flora and collecting is fairly easy. Bivalves can also be found here, along with trace fossils, such as ripple marks and burrows. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Whitehaven

Whitehaven is one of the only places in the UK where fossil plants from the Carboniferous can be collected on the coast both on the foreshore and in the cliffs. This unique location can yield some well-preserved specimens. Carboniferous, Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦