Whitehaven is one of the only places in the UK where fossil plants from the Carboniferous can be collected on the coast both on the foreshore and in the cliffs. This unique location can yield some well-preserved specimens.
* Suitable for children 5+ (All children must be acompanied by a paying adult).
* 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/2004/03/22/whitehaven/
There are some 30 recorded species of plant remains found at Whitehaven. The foreshore is full of fossil roots in between layers of plant material. The most common plants include Annularia, Neuropteris and Asterophyllites, and many of these can be found in their original life positions, which makes this location extremely important.
The best bed for Calamites can be found in the lower hard beds at the cliff section. These can be extremely large and in excellent condition. The first cliffs you come to at Whitehaven do not contain shale and are unfossilferous, but as you walk northwards they change. There is a good cliff section of shale, which contains a large number of plant remains. You can climb up scree slopes to gain access to the various different zones.
Some zones contain well-preserved plant fauna and others not so well-preserved fossils. Throughout the sequence, the bands cycle through plant leaves followed by roots and then plant leaves. The grey and brown bands are the best beds. Across the railway track, exposures can be found on the foreshore. On the surface, only roots can be seen as the plant material has been washed away, but, if you split the shale, you will find it is full of plant material with some excellent specimens. The beds dip as you walk north to south offering different zones.
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.