Hampshire fossils and fossil collecting
Barton on Sea
The Barton Clay at Barton on Sea is famous for its hundreds of different species of shells, in particular, its gastropods. The beds are also rich in sharks’ teeth, fish and mammal remains. Sharks’ teeth at Barton can be picked up from the foreshore making this location ideal for all the family.
Latchmoor Brook is one of the only places where you can collect fossils in the New Forest. They come from the uppermost Bracklesham Group sediments and the lowermost Barton Clay. The stream and banks are very shallow, which makes collecting here far easier than other stream-based locations. Gastropods, bivalves and fish remains are all common here.
Taddiford Gap is a classic site and well documented for mammal and crocodile remains. Shark and other fish remains, along with a wide range of microfossils, can also be found. The latter can be found by sieving from the Crocodile and Mammal Beds. There is also a black bed of sediments containing a huge variety of fossils seeds.
Milford on Sea
Milford on Sea provides an excellent opportunity to collect a wide range of fossil seeds from the Headon Hill Formation. These are in very good condition, but you will need to take samples home for processing using a sieve. Ironstones can also be found containing bivalves and gastropods.
During scouring conditions, The famous ‘elephant bed’ is exposed at Stansore point, yielding various mammal remains. To the western end of the car park, fossils can be found in the many blocks both along the footpath to the cliffs and the foreshore. At the western end, foreshore Eocene clays yield microfossils.
At Brownwich Cliff, fossiliferous septarian nodules of Bracklesham age are washed onto the shore from offshore deposits. The cliffs at both Brownwich Cliff and Chilling Cliff can occasionally yield fossil molluscs, but the best deposits are those from below beach level, which are full of brachiopods and other molluscs. Pleistocene remains can also be found washed from the gravel beds.
At Beckton Bunny, the continuation of the Barton Beds yield brachiopods, gastropods and bivalves. However, the shells are far more sporadic than at Barton on Sea and tend often to be broken. During scouring, exposure of the ChamaBeds yields the best specimens.