Bawdsey, Suffolk

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Free

8th October 2022 – 12:30pm

It has only been in recent years that Bawdsey is once again being washed out by the sea, but this time it is a small cliff north of the famous (now overgrown) Red Crag cliffs. However, the London Clay on the foreshore is rich in fish, bird and shark remains.

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* Suitable for children 6+ (All children must be accompanied by an adult).
* HIGH VISIBILITY VESTS or jacket essential. We do not provide these, but you can add these when ordering if needed.

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

It has only been in recent years that Bawdsey is once again being washed out by the sea, but this time it is a small cliff north of the famous (now overgrown) Red Crag cliffs. However, the London Clay on the foreshore is rich in fish, bird and shark remains.

The London Clay is highly rich in bird and fish remains, but reptiles and sharks’ teeth can also be found. From the Red Crag, molluscs can be collected along with derived fossils. Bawdsey also has some of the most well-preserved fossil wood in the London Clay and it is from around these fossils that the fish, reptile and bird remains can be found by sieving samples of the clay. Vertebras are also common and can get to quite a size.

Some of the larger fossils can be found on the shingle, especially in nodules that often contain well-preserved fossils. It is a hands-and-knees job to find them. Many of the smaller fossils, including small sharks’ teeth and loose fish remains, become broken up and you will only find half vertebras, and the teeth without their roots or the roots separate. For the best examples, you need to find these in situ or from samples that you take home to sieve. Treat any find as soon as possible.

You can also find Red Crag fossils, including fragments of bone in the shingle on the foreshore and these are much better preserved.

To make the best finds, you need a low tide or scouring conditions when the foreshore is stripped of sand. Search the clay and look around the areas where there is fossil wood. Most of the fossils are so fragile that, unless you are careful, they will break up. It is highly recommended that you take back samples and wet sieve at home. Most of these areas contain fossils of some sort and often you can find remains of complete fish, bird bones and reptile remains.

If you are interested in crag fossils, search the scree slopes at the base of the cliff, as they are full of shells and derived fossils. Occasionally, you can find sharks’ teeth, fish remains and crustaceans from the basement bed.

FAQ

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.

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 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 conditions or unforeseen circumstances, 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.