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Fossil Hunting in Middle Scotland

Most of the fossil bearing sites in the Midland and Grampian of Scotland area are along the Eastern coast. Here, the Carboniferous rocks yield plant remains, brachiopods, trilobite tracks, giant millipede tracks, corals and crinoids. Some of the best locations are East Wemyss, for plant remains and Crail. At Crail, fossil tree trunks in life position can be seen. Fife also has many locations to visit, being a previous coal mining area.

The sea regularly erodes a cliff of spoil from the now closed nearby Michael Coal Pit. This cliff contains many different carboniferous beds of which some highly fossiliferious plant and marine bands can be found scattered along the foreshore.

Giant millipede tracks, tree trunks in life position and many other fossils can be found to the South West of the pretty fishing village of Crail.

The volcanic rocks at Kinghorn are carboniferous sedimentary with Pyroclastic rocks and basalt flows intebedded. Within these rocks, corals and shells can be found.

There is plenty to see at St Monans, including raised beaches, an excellent example of a syncline, bedding planes packed with trace fossils, and whole layers of rock full of fossil corals and crinoids.

Some excellent Carboniferous plant fossils can be found at Anstruther if you can find the right type of rock and if you have the strength and determination to break them open and carry them off the beach.

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 Wood Haven rocks also contain fossils.

Another location along this stretch of coastline where Carboniferous plant fossils can be found. The site is not as rich as others but is worth a visit none-the-less.


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.
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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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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