Walton-on-the-Naze is an unpredictable location, which can be highly productive one day and bare the next. It is the best coastal location for fossils from the Red Crag and is famous for fossil bird remains from the London Clay. It also while yields some of the largest sharks’ teeth in the UK (including the rare Carcharocles megalodon), together with plant remains and much, much more.
* Suitable for children 6+ (All children must be acompanied by an 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.
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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 note, many of our locations will not have toilet facilities, water, or other amenities.
Fossil guide to this location: https://ukfossils.co.uk/2007/06/07/walton-on-the-naze/
The Red Crag yields a wide variety of shells, fish fragments, sharks’ teeth and the occasional bit of bone. The shells are very fragile, so extra care should be taken extracting and getting them home. Small mammal remains, including voles, can also be found, but these are normally found by wet sieving using a mesh of 0.5mm
The majority of the fossils at Walton-on-the Naze can be found in areas of shingle and pyrite, in which fossils become trapped. As a general rule, the more pyrite that can be seen, the greater your chances are of finding fossils. However, they can be picked up anywhere on the beach. Look carefully and get down on your knees. In addition, light coloured nodules containing lobsters, crabs and bird bones, among other things, are not uncommon, but are generally only found after scouring tides or storms. The beds that these fossils come from is below beach level and, therefore, it is more likely these will be washed up on the beach or found during extremely low tides, than found in situ in the foreshore clay.
As a result of new sea defences at the beginning of the section, fossils are rare at the start of the walk. However, northwards from some large concrete blocks, it becomes much more productive (but becomes decreasingly less productive as the cliff height decreases). The bird bones and nodules containing lobsters and so on are mostly found at the far end of the cliffs. Bird bones can be found by taking home samples of London Clay to sieve.
Look out for pockets of fossil pyritised wood, as fish remains and small mammal remains can often be found trapped in amongst the pyritised fossil wood. This is also where most of the sharks’ teeth are found.
Walton-on-the-Naze is now the best coastal location in the UK for Red Crag, ever since Bawdsey became heavily protected by sea defences, which has caused it to become very overgrown. Here, beyond the new sea defences (where you will find information boards on the local natural history), there is no such protection, so regular erosion keeps the Red Crag on view. This frequently slumps and can often be seen at the base of the cliff. While climbing the cliffs is not recommend and digging in the cliffs is banned due to SSSI restrictions, shells can be found in the slumped scree slopes and, in many cases, these are in a much better condition than any you would find in the main face of the cliff. Rainfall also plays its part, doing all the natural sieving for you.
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.
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.
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.