What’s so special about The Jurassic Coast?
Well in brief, it’s England’s first natural UNESCO World Heritage Site putting it in the same category as other more famous wonders of the natural world like the Great Barrier Reef and the Grand Canyon.
Stretching from East Devon to East Dorset, 185 million years of the earth’s history are recorded in the rocks of just 95 miles of coastline. If this doesn’t convince you it also happens to be stunning!
The Jurassic coast offers a unique insight into the Earth Sciences as it clearly depicts a geological ‘walk through the time of teh Dinosaurs’ spanning the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.
Where is the best place to hunt?
The best locations for fossil hunting in Dorset are at Charmouth and Lyme Regis. However this also means they are very popular, and in summer the beaches can be full of fossil hunters meaning you might come away with very little.
How can I increase my chances?
Visit some of the lesser known fossil locations of Seatown, Thorncombe Beacon and Burton Bradstock. Fossils are often found on these beaches although you may have to work a little harder to find them. Another option is to book one of Chris Pamplin’s excellent guided tours.
Safety and The Fossil Code
Yes there’s always a boring bit, but it is very important to take notice of warning signs along the coast, stay well away from cliffs and beware of quicksand. You should also familiarize yourself with the Fossil Collecting Code of Conduct.
If you find something…
Lucky you! If you think you have found a special or rare fossil take it to the Heritage Coast Centre in Charmouth where the experts can assess it. If it is considered to be of scientific importance the staff will want to make a record of it (as provided in the code) before returning it to you. Don’t worry, it remains yours to keep!