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Fossil Hunting in Cumbria

The Lake District is the most popular area of the UK for hikers. It is not the most productive area of the UK for fossils, but has its fair share of locations. Whitehaven in the only coastal site, but is a highly productive site for Carboniferous plants, in excellent condition. The rest of Cumbria is mostly of Ordovician, and Silurian rocks, with a range of disused quarries. scree slopes, cuttings and streams. Trilobites can be found here, but are not very common.

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 cliffs. This unique location yields some well preserved specimens.


Whitehaven

At Stockdale Quarry, Ordovician slates yield a variety of fauna including trilobites, corals, graptolites, brachiopods, bivalves and gastropods. This disused quarry is situated at the top of a hill.


Unworked since the early 20th century, Clint’s Quarry is now quite overgrown. Some areas of scree can still be found however and within these coral fossils can be collected.


Whitehaven

At The fossils found at Hodgson How Quarry can be seen in the local 'Keswick Museum', some superb unusual species of Graptolites are rich in the beds at this disused quarry. This is one of the best Graptolite locations in the Lake District.


The hill of Barrow has a range of various types of chlorite-rich Quartz, some of these can be very hard. Other minerals can be found including apatite and glaucodot. These can be collected in the debris on the South facing slope.


The area of Coniston is quite large, it includes several quarries, several beck's and scree slopes. There is also a number of small cuttings. Graptolites and Trilobites are collected here along with Brachiopods.


Not a location for fossil hunting, but a wide range of minerals can be found in the Borrowdale Volcanic Group, Tilberthwaite Tuffs. Most of the disused quarries here are now filled with spoil but still productive.


Whitehaven

At Stockdale Beck, Silurian rocks have been cut through by water and various zones are exposed. There is one particular zone in which well preserved graptolites can be found.


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 be found in the scree when climbing towards the summit. This trip is hard going.


Stair Stream runs between Causey Pike and Barrow. During the past occasional graptolites have been found in the stream bed. These have been washed from higher beds. The ordovician rocks in the stream itself are of the Buttermere Formation.



Cliff
Fossils collected direct from cliff face
Foreshore
Fossils collected from the foreshore
Cliff/Foreshore
Fossils collected from the cliff and foreshore
Quarry
Location is a quarry or pit
Stream
Fossils collected from a stream or river bed,
Field
Fossils collected from a farm field
Cutting
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.
Microfossils
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

Quaternary
Neogene
Palaeogene

Cretaceous
Jurassic
Triassic
Permian
Carboniferous
Devonian
Silurian
Ordovician
Cambrian / Pre Cambrian

A-Z Listing

Fossil Resources

Beginners Guides to Fossil Hunting

The Lake District

Where to collect rocks, fossils and minerals in the Lake District. Includes full geological guides, access information. 215 pages.

UKGE CODE: BK0094
£18.25 (FREE DELIVERY)

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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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