Tag: Trilobites

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Upper Gilwern Quarry

On the edge of the Brecon Beacons, Upper Gilwern Hill is a site long known for its well-preserved and complete trilobites. The hill is made up of rocks from the Lower and Middle Ordovician, and the privately owned quarry is accessible to parties staying at the onsite Shepherd’s Hut self catering accommodation. The trilobite fossils here are plentiful and the chances of finding a good number is very high. Ordovician, Private Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Little Wern

Tucked away in the fold of a valley near Llandrindod Wells, in Mid Wales, sits Little Wern holiday cottage. The cottage has its own small quarry, which is solely open to visitors staying there. And what’s more, it is stuffed full of trilobite remains. Ordovician, Private Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Llanfawr Quarries

These series of disused quarries, in Llandrindod Wells, are rich in trilobites and graptolites. The largest of the quarries has deep water (also shown on OS maps), and is now fenced over following an accident in which a child sadly drowned. A second quarry, slightly further to the northeast, contains no water and has easy access, with productive shales. Ordovician, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Bach Y Graig

Bach Y Graig is a stream section, rich in trilobites and graptolites. The latter are mostly complete, but are also very fragile and paper thin. Therefore, when splitting, their segments often end up being separated on either side of the split. The site is also dark, being in a thickly wooded area, and is very hard to find without a map or GPS. Ordovician, Stream, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Bettws

This small section of stream cutting in the middle of nowhere is worth a visit to look for trilobite remains. Fossils are not particularly frequent, but, with some careful searching, you should find trilobite pieces, as well as graptolites. Ordovician, Stream cutting, Rating: ♦♦

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Wren’s Nest

The Wren’s Nest National Nature Reserve is an area of nature reserve to the northeast of Dudley in the West Midlands. It was designated as a National Nature Reserve in 1956 because of its exceptional geological and paleontological features of Silurian age. It is also a SSSI. Silurian, Disused Quarry, 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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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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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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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: ♦♦♦

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Lady Burn

Lady Burn is a very famous site for fossils in Scotland. It has highly fossiliferous rocks, including three famous starfish beds and some superb, complete trilobites can be found. There are many different fossils to be found here and you are sure to find something Ordovician, Stream Cutting, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Aberlady

This is a peaceful location where fantastic bryozoans can be seen in Carboniferous rocks. You can also find many slabs of the tracks of trilobites, preserved in the mud over which they crawled. Fish and the trilobites themselves can also be found here. Carboniferous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Hope

Fossils can be found in shales, which outcrop in the stream banks of the Hope Valley stream near the nature reserve. Finds are few and far between, but occasionally a nice, whole trilobite can be collected. Ordovician, Stream Embankment, Rating: ♦

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Elie

There are two locations for fossils at Elie. The first is Elie Shore where, during scouring conditions and winter months, brachiopods, bivalves, sponges and trilobite fragments can be found. Nearby, the rocks at Wood Haven also contain fossils Carboniferous, 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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Coniston

The area around the town of Coniston from which fossils and minerals can be collected is quite large. It includes several quarries, and several becks and scree slopes. There is also a number of small cuttings. Graptolites and trilobites can be collected here, along with brachiopods. Silurian, Ordovician, Cuttings, Disused Quarries, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Causey Pike

Causey Pike is over 600m high. It is a small mountain with many outcrops of rock and scree slopes. Trilobites, trace fossils and graptolites can all be found in the scree when climbing towards the summit. However, this trip is hard going. Ordovician, Outcrops, 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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Vinnels

This location is so over collected that you have to crawl into the cutting and it can be hard to get any decent rock samples for splitting, but the rewards are worth the hard work. Superb trilobites and graptolites in excellent condition can be found, and some are complete. Silurian, Stream and Cuttings, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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The Onny Trail

This is another walk along a designated geological route visiting two stream sections and two further cuttings, including an old railway cutting and a quarry. The rocks here are Silurian, Ordovician and Pre-Cambrian. Shells, graptolites and trilobites can all be found. Silurian, Ordovician, Cuttings, Stream, and Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Upper Millichope

This is a stream section, which has been cut back into highly fossiliferous Silurian rocks. Plenty of excellent corals can be found, along with brachiopods, bivalves and trilobites. Most of the fossils have been washed out from the rocks and are just lying in the stream. Silurian, Stream, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Hillend

This is a small roadside cutting, which yields brachiopods and trilobites. The fossils here are poorly preserved in soft mud stones and will require treatment quickly, but it is an ideal location to stop off by the road side with a grass lay-by. Silurian, Roadside Cutting, Rating: ♦