Pett Level (Hastings), Sussex – GEOLOGICAL AND FOSSIL FIELD TRIP

Posted on


August 25


10:30 am - 01:30 pm

Event Category:


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UKAFH and UK Fossils


TN35 4EH

Hastings, TN35 4EH

Hastings, England, GB, TN35 4EH

This popular location near Hastings has yielded some important finds over the years. Sharks’ teeth, plants, reptile remains and shells can all be collected, and the site is exceptional for small mammal and fish remains. Crocodile teeth can also sometimes turn up.

* Suitable for children 8+ (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. 

It is often MUCH CHEAPER to purchase an annual membership with us (at just £20 for individual, or family membership covering 2-5 people for just £40). We recommend for any families of 4 or more, SIGN UP FOR  A MEMBERSHIP as this will always work out cheaper than buying separate tickets and you can join any of our many events throughout the year for FREE!, with many other benefits, see; subscriptions. After signing up, you can use your membercode to book this event free of charge.

UKAFH is a professional non-profit organisation with the aim of encouraging safe and sensible collecting and educating the next generation. Our highly experienced leaders are all volunteers, who dedicated their time to be able to run these events for you and ensure UKAFH continues to be able to what we do best, provide a family friendly fossil hunting group. All our leaders are first aid trained, highly skilled in what they do, and fossil enthusiasts themselves. All funds from events are used to run UKAFH, cover public liability insurance, and the day to day running. We ask that all members and attendees appreciate and respect leaders roles, and understand that without them, these events could not happen.

Please download and read the RISK ASSESSMENT Document

Please download and read the PPE POLICY Document

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:

When beginning at the beach at Pett Level, blocks of the Cliff End Bone Bed can usually be found lying on the ground and is packed with bones, scales and teeth. If you break open these blocks, you can see teeth from the fish Scheenstia mantelli (which was previously known as Lepidotes mantelli), and the shark Hybodus. A variety of shells can be seen and, very occasionally, insects have been found from this layer.

The grey clay is the ‘Unio Bed’, which contains the shells of the eponymous freshwater bivalve. These can be collected along the foreshore, where this layer is exposed. In this, if you are lucky, you can also find a whole range of different bones and teeth from dinosaurs, crocodiles and turtles. However, note that fossils from this clay are very fragile.

The commonest fossil is of the bivalve Neomiodon, which can be seen in many rocks and boulders. Plant fossils are common, especially the horsetail Equisetites. Lignite, often referred to as brown coal, is a soft brown combustible sedimentary rock formed from naturally compressed peat and is present in some rock layers.

The Fairlight area is the best location outside of the Isle of Wight for dinosaur remains. While not common, they can generally be found anywhere along the Fairlight to Hastings coastline, but are mostly fragments. Along the foreshore, past Fairlight Cove to the east, you can find dinosaur bones in the ‘Wadhurst Clay Ironstone’. Dinosaur footprints are a regular occurrence and these include those made by Iguanodon, Ankylosaurs and therapods.

Turtle remains have also been recorded. These bones are normally found in ironstone nodules, but are usually only fragments. Bones can also be found at the base of the cliffs, in the scree slopes.

At Pett Level just before Fairlight Cove, a submerged forest can be seen at low tide dating from about 5200 BC. During scouring, in a silt layer exposed on the foreshore, Iguanodon footprints have also been seen.


Can I bring a younger child?

We are sorry, but to comply with insurance cover and to ensure the safety of the event, we do not allow any exceptions. 

Can I book over the phone?

Unfortunately, as terms and conditions and waivers need to be signed, we can only accept bookings online. 

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 friends 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.