Folkestone is internationally famous for the ‘Channel Tunnel’, but also for the cliffs of Gault Clay at Copt Point and in the Warren and East Wear Bay. These rapidly eroding cliffs yield a vast range of ammonites, crabs, echinoids, belemnites, brachiopods, bivalves and much, much more.
* Suitable for children 6+ (All children must be acompanied by a paying adult).
* HARD HATS (No Cycle Helmets), and HIGH VISIBILITY VESTS or jacket essential. We do not provide these, but you can add these when ordering if needed.
We try to keep most events to a 11am till 4pm schedule, but final times may vary depending on tide times and working around quarries. We will always advice start time and where to meet well in advance of the event.
Please note, many of our locations will not have toilet facilities, water, or other amenities.
Fossil guide to this location: https://ukfossils.co.uk/2008/01/24/folkestone/
The Gault Clay contains a wide range of ammonite species. Some are found in nodules and these are also the best preserved. The echinoid bed is higher up the cliffs and, unfortunately, the fossils from here (along with many of the ammonites from other beds) are very fragile. The Gault Clay is also rich in a wide variety of brachiopods, bivalves and gastropods. Belemnites (Neohibolites minimus) are also commonly found. And if you are very lucky, you can find echinoids, crabs, nautili, crinoids and reptile bones (including pterosaur bone fragments).
The best place to find fossils is along the foreshore at Copt Point. However, this normally requires scouring conditions, usually during winter months. Many of the harder fossils, especially those within nodules, can be collected from the beach. Look in the shingle, in particular where the cliff is at its lowest (towards the eastern end of the exposure) and between the large greensand boulders along the foreshore.
Many fossils can be collected from the scree slopes at the base of the cliff, particularly after persistent heavy rain and extreme high tides. However, during these conditions, it is dangerous to climb the cliffs, but, during dryer times, it is possible to climb the scree scopes to collect from the higher beds. On the other hand, we do not recommend doing this for safety reasons. Families can collect fossils from the low cliff at the Warren/East Wear Bay end, which is much safer. Ammonites and shells are common here amongst the shingle.
The Lower Greensand, which is found at the base of the cliff and makes up the large boulders scattered along the foreshore, also yield fossils. These are very hard and will usually require a large hammer and a chisel to extract.
If all this isn’t enough for you, the chalk at the other side of the Warren/East Wear Bay is also full of bivalves, brachiopods and echinoids. It is worth a visit, but is not as productive as other chalk locations.
Can my child less than 4 attend the event?
We strongly advice against taking children under 4, but if the event allows children and leaders agree, then this is possible providing they are under your responsibility and care, and do not use tools or equipment. Please contact us on 01502 725205 (Mon-Fri 8am-3pm) for more information.
Can I book over the phone?
Yes, you can, and we can take card payment, however a waiver must be signed before we can accept your booking. The waiver can be emailed or posted out, but must be returned within one week of the booking. Contact us on: 01502 725205 (Mon-Fri 8am-3pm).
Can I pay on the day?
Sorry, we do not allow anyone to pay on the day, as we cannot provide pre-preparation details on risk assessment, and due to health and safety, places are limited.
Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
This will greatly help us and speed things up, but leaders will have a list of those attending on the day.
Is my registration ticket transferrable?
Please contact us and we normally try to accommodate this.
I have a question not listed?
Please contact us on 01502 725205 (Mon-Fri 8am-3pm).
What happens if I can’t make it on time or get to the venue?
You need to contact us urgently. If this is within a few days of the event, call us on 01502 725205 (Mon-Fri 8am till 4pm), if it is on the day or a couple of days before, contact the leader in the final confirmation email detailing where to meet and times. We cannot guarenete we can wait for you, but where possible, we will try.
Are toilets nearby?
Most events will not have access to toliets. The best places to find fossils are mostly areas away from built up areas, and tend to be quite remote. There are a few exceptions where toliets are close by, but it is best to presume they wont be available.
Will my friend’s hammer and chisels from their tool box be okay to bring?
No, standard tools are made from inferior metal which splinter very easily against rocks. This is both dangerous to yourself and others, and flying metal can cause eye injuries or penetrate the skin. ONLY hammers specifically made for geological use can be used. We offer some to add to your order if you dont have any.
What happens if the event is cancelled?
We try very hard to avoid having to cancel, but if an event needs to be cancelled due to adverse weather conditons or unforeseen circansances, we will notify you immediately, and you will be offered an alternative hunt or date or a refund.
Can I bring my dog/pet?
UKAFH does not permit members to bring dogs or pets, unless under exceptional circumstances such as guide dogs. Some members may suffer from Cynophobia, or allergies. In addition, we need to ensure the safety of all members. Many beaches also do not permit dogs.