Beltinge (Herne Bay) is one of the most popular locations for collecting sharks’ teeth in the UK, especially for international visitors. You can usually find teeth all year round, but this location is best visited during extremely low tides, such as spring tides. At these times, fossil hunters across the UK and Europe flock to Herne Bay to visit its highly fossiliferous beds.
* Suitable for children 4+
* HIGH VISIBILITY VESTS or jacket essential.
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/2012/01/24/herne-bay/
Just to the east of Herne Bay in Kent, on the way to Reculver at Beltinge, there is a small area on the foreshore where fossils of shark and other fish remains can be found on a good low tide. As this is a beach location, success will depend on good, local conditions but, if favourable, a good number of fossil teeth can be found. In fact, Beltinge is one of the best areas in Britain to collect such teeth and it is not unusual to find 20 to 30 persons on the beach on very low tides. Even so, everybody there could end up with a good haul of material by the end of the day.
From this starting point, go as far out as the tide will let you and shark teeth can be found. Indeed, the chances of finding teeth improve the further out the tide goes. Broadly speaking, the collecting area is in the section of beach between the groynes either side of the concrete steps. Here, when the tide has gone out quite a distance, there appears to be a “stream” running out to sea. This is the junction between the clay beds to the west and the shingle to the east.
When the tide is low enough, a small “island” appears in line with the stream, consisting mainly of pebbles. If you wade out to it, this can also be a good source of teeth, as collectors do not often visit the site so teeth tend to build up among the pebbles.
Further west of the collecting area is a large spit of shingle, mainly covered in mussel shells and is known locally as “the Rand”. Before bait-diggers found king rag worms burrowing under the shingle here, this was the best place to find teeth and is generally regarded as the junction of Woolwich and Reading Beds (to the east) and the Oldhaven Beds (to the west). However, once the bait-diggers started turning over the shingle, mussels took a hold and teeth could no longer be found there.
The better quality teeth are usually found in or on the clay. However, a greater number of teeth are usually found between the pebbles of the shingle to the east. Collecting is normally carried out by kneeling or bending down as low as possible and covering the beach in this manner. A pair of tweezers is almost essential to pick up the teeth, as some teeth are very small. In addition, a small pot can be used to put the teeth found into a safe place.
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 husband’s hammer and chisels from his tool box be okay to bring?
No, standard tools are made from inferior metal which spliter very easily against rocks. This is both dangerious 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.