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Fossil Hunting in Gloucestershire

The country of Gloucestershire has some of the best inland and river sites in the UK and covers the River Severn locations that were previously under the county of Avon, having expanded both Gloucestershire and Somerset after Avon was declassified as a county. Along the River Severn, the famous Triassic Bone Bed can be found at Aust, Sedbury Cliff, Westbury on Severn and Wainlode cliffs. Inland sites give the opportunity to collect Jurassic fossils from disused quarries, outcrops and cuttings. In the forest of Dean, you can collect Carboniferous plant remains from the most famous coal measures of the UK. Gloucestershire really does have such a wide array of sites and geology.

The Famous Red and White cliffs that can be seen when crossing the river Severn contain a highly productive bone bearing bed at the very top from the Rhaetian Penarth series. This bed is full of teeth, reptile, fish remains.

There are many old quarries on the west side of the elevated golf course at Cleeve Hill. 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 this, the highest hill in Gloucestershire, are stunning.

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

Further up the River Severn from other classic sites such as Aust and Hock Cliff, Westbury on Severn is one of the finest localities for collecting from the famous Rhaetian Penarth Boned Bed. Out of all of the localities along the Severn, this has the most rapid erosion, with bone bed to look through.

The actual site is a foreshore location on the eastern shore of the River Severn to the west of Tites Point, in Gloucestershire. At low tide, the Silurian Ludlow beds are exposed, yielding a range of fossils, including seeds, plants and molluscs. However, of most importance is the abundance of fish remains from the Ludlow Fish Bed.

The two large quarry faces at Robinswood hill are sites of special scientific interest 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 after fossil hunting.

A disused railway cutting, hidden away in a thick forest. This small cutting has good exposures of inferior Oolite. This location is well documented for its Clypeus sinuatus flat echinoid's, but many brachiopods and bivalves also found.


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 plant remains. It is a shame the site is so overgrown as you will need to do some digging.

A pleasant few hours can be spent at Leckhampton Hill. There are numerous old quarry faces with their associated scree piles 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.

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.

Wainlode Cliff is a less popular location for collecting fossils from the Triassic bone beds of the Rhaetic Rocks. The cliff height is quite impressive, but the problem is this location is more overgrown than others, and doesn’t wash out as regular. The taller cliffs also mean that the bone bed rarely falls.

Soudley Valley is a geological trail, taking you through the geological features of the Forest of Dean. One of these locations features a spoil heap of carboniferous coal measures, where you can find plants. This guide concentrates on this location.

Crickley Hill is now part of a national park which is an official geological trail. There are a few sites along the official guide taking you through the geological history of the area, this guide concentrates on the Pea Grit Quarry.


Fossils collected direct from cliff face
Fossils collected from the foreshore
Fossils collected from the cliff and foreshore
Location is a quarry or pit
Fossils collected from a stream or river bed,
Fossils collected from a farm field
Fossils collected from road or railway cutting.
Scree Slope
Fossils collected from hill or mountain scree slope.
Rock Outcrop
Fossils collected from rock outcrops.
Lake / Reservoir
Fossils collected from lake or reservoir banks.
Spoil Heap Fossils collected from coal spoil heap.
Samples taken back for processing microfossils.


Fossils are common
Fossils often found
Fossils are not common
Fossils rarely found
Site protected, no collecting permitted, or no access to beach


Cambrian / Pre Cambrian

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Beginners Guides to Fossil Hunting


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While we (UKGE/UK Fossils) try to ensure that the content of this location guide is accurate and up to date, we cannot and do not guarantee this. Nor can we be held liable for any loss or injury caused by or to a person visiting this site. Remember: this is only a location guide and the responsibility remains with the person or persons making the visit for their own personal safety and the safety of their possessions. That is, any visit to this location is of a personal nature and has not been arranged or directly suggested by UK Fossils. In addition, we recommend visitors get their own personal insurance cover. Please also remember to check tide times and rights of way (where relevant), and to behave in a responsible and safe manner at all times (for example, by keeping away from cliff faces and mud).
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