UK Fossils -

Essex fossils and fossil collecting

Essex has some excellent locations for collecting fossils. The London Clay is exposed either at foreshore level, or forming cliffs. The most popular location is Walton-on-the-Naze. Featuring the best exposures of Red Crag in the UK (Pliocene), and the classic London Clay. Shark teeth are commonly found here, but can be found at all other locations in Essex. Maylandsea is a small unique site which allows the opportunity to collect fossil Lobsters. Many of the locations in Essex are along river banks.


Pliocene, Eocene
Walton-on-the-Naze is an unpredictable location, which can be highly productive one day and bare the next. It is the best coastal location for fossils from the Red Crag and is famous for fossil bird remains from the London Clay. It also while yields some of the largest sharks’ teeth in the UK, together with plant remains and much, much more.

Burnham-on-Crouch has yielded an incredible variety of fossils - you just never know what you will find. There are various species of shark (with teeth and vertebrae being most common fossils), crabs, seeds, fish remains (including ray teeth) and much, much more.

The most productive location for lobster fragments - found in small yellow nodules - this small location with its tiny cliffs can bring some nice surprises. Sharks’ teeth and fish remains can also be found. There are several species of lobster to be collected and it is also rich in microfossils.

Steeple Bay is very similar to Maylandsea. It is very productive for lobster fragments, which are found in small yellow nodules, and for crabs. There are several species of lobster that can be collected here and it is also rich in microfossils. All fossils are washed out of the London Clay from the low cliffs and foreshore.

What looks like a flat beach behind a concrete seawall actually yields plenty of shark and fish teeth, plant remains and much more. People have been collecting here for years. However, success at this location is subject to beach conditions.
East Mersea

Eocene, Pleistocene
East Mersea can be very popular in the summer, as it is a beautiful area, not far from Colchester. The foreshore is made up of London Clay, with a few sharks’ teeth to be found. This site is also well documented for OIS5 and OIS6 Pleistocene deposits, rich in (among other things) the teeth from small mammals and the shells of molluscs.

Eocene, Pliocene
Along the Wrabness shoreline of the River Stour and after scouring tides or stormy seas, fossils are washed up from sediments from the Quaternary. These include bones of deer, horse and whale from the Red Crag, with turtles, shells, and shark and fish teeth within cement stones and pyrite concretions from the London Clay.

Stansgate is situated along the south side of the River Blackwater and is east of the classic London Clay sites of Maylandsea and Steeple. Like these two other sites, phosphate nodules containing lobsters and crabs can be found, with sharks’ teeth and fish remains found loose in the shingle.
Key: Cliffs and Foreshore Foreshore Cliffs Quarry Spoil heap Cutting Stream Farm field Scree slope Shingle Outcrop Lake Building stone Microfossils

Stone Tumblers

If you are interested in fossil collecting, then you may also be interested in a stone tumbler (Lapidary). You can polish stones and rocks from the beach which will look fantastic polished using a stone tumbler. You can polish rough rock and beach glass whilst collecting fossils, on those days where you come back empty handed. These are all high quality machines to give a professional finish to your samples. They can even be used for amber and fossils.


At most locations, you can find microfossils. You only need a small sample of the sand. You then need to wash it in water and sieve using a test sieve. We also sell petri dishes, to help you store your fossils.We have a wide range of microscopes for sale, you will need a Stereomicroscope for viewing microfossils. The best one we sell is the IMXZ, but a basic microscope will be fine. Once you have found microfossils, you will need to store these microfossils.

Test Sieves

Test Sieves are used when searching for microfossils. All you need is a small amount of sample such as clays, sands and shales, or if you have acid, limestone, oolite or chalk. Our UKGE Store sells Endecotts and Impact Test Sieves, these laboratory sieves are highly accurate and extremely durable. These Test sieves are fantastic for microfossils. Test Sieves come in a variety of sizes, frame material and types, they are certificated to EU Standards.