FOSSIL HUNT - Hall Dale Quarry, Derbyshire

Sunday, May 7, 2017 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM (LMT) More Information →

This is an extremely large, open disused quarry, which is rich in fossils. It is one of the best locations in Derbyshire, being easy to access. You could spend days here, finding superb fossils. The quarry is so large that it is even possible to get lost. Several smaller quarries are linked to the main quarry, which has three levels.

* Suitable for children 11+
* LEADERS: Terry Newsome and Kellie Vernon

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:

The quarry is tucked away in the woods and cannot be seen from the roadside. However, the signs are there. The entrance, where you can park, looks just like a lay-by, but the huge quarry blocks restricting vehicle access into the quarry gives it away. In fact, the path just looks like any other leading through some woods. Only if you had a map, you would know something was there.

The blocks have been positioned to allow access by foot, but not by car. Follow the path through the woods to find some more blocks and you will come to a large open area. Continue into this area and you will discover that, hiding in these woods, is one of the biggest disused quarries in the Matlock district.

If you carry on ahead, just to the right of the sheer faces at the top of the quarry, you will see some piles of rocks on which you could spend days looking for fossils and still have plenty more to examine. Here, it is easier and safer to find fossils. The surfaces of the blocks are full of bivalves, brachiopods, corals and crinoids.

What is striking is that so many species of brachiopods and bivalves can be found. You will need a good hammer and chisel, although some rocks have weathered to the point that fossils can be picked out. Other rocks, where the fossils are embedded deeply, may prove more difficult. Try to find fossils that can be easy to extract, such as on edges or near natural cracks.

The quarry has three floors. Unfortunately, to access these means climbing up the pile of rocks. Climbers do actually visit the quarry as the faces are ideal for them, but, for the average fossil collector, we recommend staying on the lower floor.


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.