Whitehaven, 9th June 2019

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WH1

On 9th June we descended on Whitehaven beach to chance our arm at finding some fossils.

The foreshore and cliffs at Whitehaven are famed for their Silesian (Upper Carboniferous) plant remains. Many of the plant fossils that can be obtained here are of exceptional preservation and whilst the section in the cliff provides good collecting opportunities, the section of foreshore beneath exposes beds of Bolsovian age (311.7–306.5 Mya) from the Westphalian Stage and generally consists of far better fossil material.

Fossil plants found here represent a time when plant life flourished and forests were populated by giant cycad trees and ferns. A substantial river once flowed to the southwest through this environment and the Countess Sandstone, provides us with evidence of this.

There are some 30 recorded species of plant remains found at Whitehaven. The foreshore is full of fossil roots in between layers of plant material. The most common plants include AnnulariaNeuropteris and Asterophyllites, and many of these can be found in their original life positions, which makes this location extremely important.

A selection of finds is shown below. We had a lovely group, some fantastic fossils found and an excellent day in the sunshine! Thank you to everyone who attended!

WH10
Leaders Terry and Mike! (obligatory selfie)

 

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