Saturday, 11 October 2014

From the Toarcian to the Callovian - Addendum

Since publishing the final instalment below I have received some rather interesting feedback from palaeontologist and colleague Dean Lomax in relation to the locality discussed in the first part of the post. Firstly let's clear up where this location is - it is indeed Kettleness, a well known fossil bearing locality on the North East Jurassic Coast that is famous for producing superb fossils of ammonites and is best known for the amount of marine reptile remains it has produced over the years.

Well it appears that the spot I reached in thirty minutes is NOT the main fossil producing spot at Kettleness. Rather it appears that you need to walk around the headland as seen in the above image and then, after a further 40 minutes walk, you will arrive at your destination. Who would have thought that? The cave and waterfall are always mentioned in relation to fossil hunting at Kettleness so it is not surprising that I made the mistake. To make me feel a little better about this, Dean also mentioned that he got caught out by this on his first visit as well.

So it appears that the information that it is a good hours walk to the fossil bearing strata was indeed  correct and I apologise that I may have misled some of you with the report in my previous post. So there a few more thoughts here of which one includes the fact that, despite the revelations above, the first bay I came to is still fossiliferous and I found a few nice ammonites here so do not discount it by any means. This also means that I will now have to return at some point to check out the "true" Kettleness so that next time I can provide you with some proper information and relevant data!

Lastly, and this is by far the most important aspect here, that you appreciate that the walk from Runswick Bay to the actual fossil grounds is most assuredly an hour and ten minutes so you MUST prepare accordingly. Leave nothing to chance - check the weather forecast right up to the last moment and, of course you must know the tide times and time your visit to optimise the amount of time you have to look for fossils and still allow time to walk back before the tide returns.

I would also remind you that if you have any amount of fossils in your rucksacks that the weight will tell on your return journey and you will naturally be walking more slowly after hours of fossil hunting so you need to factor this in as well. It goes without saying that a fully charged mobile phone is essential.

So, as I mentioned previously, many thanks to Dean for putting me right and allowing me to correct those points I made in the previous post. Most of all, do not be put off and I hope some of you make the effort and visit this truly classic location for there still many fossils waiting to come to life.


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