We had the pleasure of returning to a very pleasant and dry Wrens’ Nest in Dudley on the 12th May 2018 to hunt for the elusive “Dudley bug”.
Wren’s Nest is composed of limestone from the Silurian Wenlock Group and is famous for the Phacopid trilobite Calymene blumenbachii, which featured on the Dudley County Borough Council Coat of Arms until 1974.
A former Victorian Quarry, which ceased operation in the 1920s, Wren’s Nest is now a National Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to the fossils that can be found here. And what a site it is!
It is a fantastic site for fossil hunting as so many fossils can be found loose on the ground. Over 700 different species of fossils can be found here, over 80 of which can be found nowhere else on earth.
Wren’s Nest contains the most diverse and abundant fossil fauna found in the British Isles and the fossils are among the most perfectly preserved Silurian fossils in the world.
Many attendees were young, first time fossil hunters and looked fabulous in their new hi-vis! We had lots of families and newcomers, which was great.
We started the day with a potted history of the site and a “show and tell” of the types of fossil that could be found at the site. The first few hours of hunting were spent at the reef mounds, before moving onto the fossil trench, from where we had a lovely view of the ripple beds.
The group found some marvellous partial trilobites (heads and tails – shown above and below), gastropods, brachiopods, bryozoans, corals and sponges – a fabulous slice of a Silurian reef ecosystem.
To all that attended, we hope that you enjoyed your day, and to the first-time hunters, we hope that we have inspired you to begin a wonderful new hobby!