Southerndown, South Wales

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12th March 2023 – 11.00am

Southerndown is a Jurassic coastal location that closely resembles the classic Lias sites of Somerset. The early Blue Lias is mostly thickly bedded limestones, with thin shale bands. The limestones are full of bivalves, with occasional ammonites. They sometimes also yield reptile remains and fish.

Fossil hunts can only be booked by members. To join in this hunts please sign up to a membership. UKAFH Family or UKAFH Solo


* Suitable for children 10+ (All children must be accompanied 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.

MEMBERS ONLY: SIGN UP FOR A MEMBERSHIP you can then join any of our many events throughout the year for FREE.

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

This is a popular location due to its small beautiful sandy bay, wonderful walks and free entry into an old castle, which has been turned into public gardens. You will definitely find bivalves, as they are everywhere, with Gryphaea being the most common. Ammonites and reptiles can also be found, but are less common. Both sides of the bay can be visited, but the southeast tends to have thicker layers of shale, which is exposed at foreshore level. This is where most of the rare reptile remains can be found. The northwest end of the bay and beyond only exposes the thick limestone, which form tall foreshore platforms. This is where most of the Gryphaea shells come from. Splitting these bivalve-packed limestone blocks normally yields some good, well-preserved specimens.

The Lower Lias at Southerndown is similar to that at Watchet, just the other side of the Bristol Channel. The rocks are early Blue Lias, from the Porthkerry Member. These Jurassic rocks, from the Hettangian Stage of 200-190 Mya, mostly consist of thickly bedded limestone, with thin layers of shale found in between. These sections show minerals such as lead sulphide and barium sulphate, deposited in the limestone about 200 million years ago.
At low tide, Triassic deposits dated at 250 million years, can be seen extending for 300m out to sea.


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.