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Fossil Hunting in Yorkshire

The Yorkshire coast is the second most popular area in the UK for fossil hunting. The same Jurassic fossils, famously found along Dorsets heritage coastline can be found here. Some of the most commercialised fossil areas are Whitby, Port Mulgrave, and Robin Hoods Bay, but even in spite of this, there is still lots to be found. Reptile remains are frequently being found here. Yorkshire is also well known for its Jurassic plant remains, where are in outstanding condition. Also of interest is the Cretaceous location of Speeton, where the Speeton Clay is similar to Folkestone.

Once a thriving community with its locally mined ironstone shipped from its own harbour, now closed but highly productive in a wide range of ammonite species along with reptiles remains and more. Port Mulgrave is one of the best locations for collecting in Yorkshire.


Kettleness is the most productive location in Yorkshire for Reptile remains. Remains are common and can be found loose or in nodules. Kettleness is also very popular for ammonites too, similar to those from Port Mulgrave.


Whitby A very popular location but sometimes difficult to access due to tide conditions. Whitby yields many ammonites, reptiles and shells, also famous for Jet which is the fossilised wood of monkey trees. However Whitby can have too much competition


Saltwick Bay yields many ammonites, reptiles and shells, also famous for Jet which is similar to Amber. These ammonites are often found in nodules which are easy to split and found along the foreshore which makes easy collecting.


Ammonites at Staithes are quite common, they are also easy to prepare and you don't need to walk far to find them. They can be found in nodules along the foreshore or within ledges ready to be picked out. A popular location.


The Highly productive Speeton Clay yields everything from ammonites, fish, shells to Crustaceans. Similar to the famous Folkestone Beds. Speeton is an excellent location for all the family but can be very sticky in winter months.


One of the first places many people come to along the Yorkshire Coast, but many come back with nothing, unless you know what and where to look for. The middle of the bay is boulder clay, but either side of the bay can be quite productive.


Cloughton Wyke is an excellent location for finding plant remains. The beds are rich in a variety of fauna and collecting is fairly easy. Bivalves can also be found here along with trace fossils such as ripple marks and burrows.


Hayburn Wyke is a superb location in Yorkshire for finding fossil plants. There are not many people who are aware of this location due to this area being missed out from the highly popular Yorkshire Geological Guide.


Cayton yields ammonites and some superb Gastropods, Bivalves and Brachiopods from the Oxford Clay. These are best found on extreme low tide on the foreshore. This location is best during scouring conditions.


Very good location if your into plant remains. The Gristhorpe Plant Beds yield some of the best plant specimens in Yorkshire. There is a wide variety of plants too, but ammonites and shells can also be found at this location.


Another location where you can find ammonites and shells. This can be a very productive location when the conditions are right. It benefits from yielding a wide range of ammonite species. Most fossils are found on the foreshore.


Scalby Ness is another good location for collecting plant remains from. It is not so highly productive as other Yorkshire locations due to the limited area. You can still find some very nice plant remains from the boulders on the foreshore.


Filey Brigg is a very famous foreshore platform that extends a long way out at low tide. Many walk along but many often to do realise that nearby superb plants and shells can be collected near the cliffs next to the Brigg.


The Long Nab member exposed at Crook Ness, yields the occasional plant remain or brachiopod. However fossils are not easy to find, and this location is overgrown in places. Ideal for an alternative day out, but not recommended if limited for time.


Boggle Hole is to the southern end of Robin Hoods Bay and is a site of special scientific interest. Foreshore exposures of Siliceous Shales yield a range of trace fossils, and during scouring conditions, some superb ammonites can be found.


You can find Reptile remains on the foreshore, along with many ammonites and shells. One of the problems is that the foreshore is extremely slippery and there are very little rocks to search through. The foreshore can be covered with algae.


It is quite a long walk down to the beach, but ammonites are well preserved and often found at this location. They can be found both at the North and South end of Ravenscar, unfortunately there is very little beach material and cliff falls are rare.


Reighton Sands is an ideal location to stop by when walking to the popular nearby Speeton Cliffs. Reighton Sands does have Kimmeridge Clay rich in ammonites and shells, but this is often covered up, and requires scouring tides. Instead, the Boulder Clay, yields a variety of erratic fossils of Jurassic, Cretaceous and Carboniferous age.

Yorkshire

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

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Fossil Resources

Beginners Guides to Fossil Hunting

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.
Fossils collected from hill or mountain scree slope.
Fossils collected from rock outcrops.
Fossils collected from lake or reservoir banks.
Samples taken back for processing microfossils.


The Yorkshire Coast

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