Aust, Bristol

Posted on Updated on


January 20


10:30 am - 01:30 pm

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UK Fossils



Aust, BS35

Aust, England, GB, BS35

The famous red and white cliffs that can be seen when crossing the River Severn contain a highly productive bone bed at the top from the Rhaetian Penarth series. This bed is full of teeth, and reptile and fish remains, and is the most productive Triassic site in the UK.

* 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. 

Please download and read the RISK ASSESSMENT Document

Please download and read the PPE POLICY Document

Please note, many of our locations will not have toilet facilities, water, or other amenities. 

Fossil guide to this location:

There are cliffs at Aust both on the north and south side of the bridge. When you reach the foreshore, you are on the southern side, which is currently being washed out more than the northern side. To access the northern side, you will need to wait until the tide is low enough to walk around the concrete bridge support. Take extreme care if accessing this area, as it can be slippery with mudflats. Return before the tide turns to avoid being cut off.

Look out for shells, and loose bones, teeth and bone fragments in the areas of shingle. Occasionally, you can come across large lumps of the bone bed, although lumps of the bone bed are usually quite small because collectors have already split them down. You only need a small amount of the bed to get some finds. Common fossils are shark and fish teeth, and fish scales and coprolites. Fragments of bone are also very common and often are from ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs, but identifiable bones are less common. You can also find fossil clams and oysters. However, it is a very popular location for collecting fossils, so competition means that the bone bed blocks are becoming harder to find. However, in recent times, the south side of the bridge is regularly washing out, with fresh cliff falls, giving rise to a good amount of material to search through.

The Red Marls are unfossilferous, so there is no point in searching within this layer. The bone bed comes from the top of the cliff at the base of the Lower Lias and is unreachable. Therefore, finding fossils at this location is dependent on cliff falls.


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 toilets. 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 toilets are close by, but it is best to presume they won’t be available.

Will my friend’s hammer and chisels from their tool box be okay to bring?

No tools are allowed on this site due it’s designation as a SSSI, and in any case, are not needed as fossils can be found loose in the scree.

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 conditions or unforeseen circansances, we will notify you immediately, and you will be offered an alternative hunt or date or a refund.