* 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.
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.
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 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.