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FOSSIL HUNT - Staithes, North Yorkshire

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Event description


Ammonites are quite common at Staithes and they are also easy to prepare. In addition, you do not need to walk far to find them. They can be found in nodules along the foreshore or within ledges ready to be picked out. It is a popular location.

* Suitable for children 9+ (All children must be acompanied by a paying adult).
* LEADERS: Katherine Combe and Aidan Philpott
* 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.

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:

You need to walk past the harbour walls round the first headland. Almost immediately, look for concretions that yield bivalves and scaphopods. Also notice the fossil ripple marks.

About 250m east from here, you will come to Penny Nab. This sticks out as the next headland and beyond it is a small bay. Penny Nab is the area where ammonites are regularly collected. At the base of the cliff under a sloping ledge, this headland has a layer full of siderite mudstone nodules. These can contain ammonites and, indeed, these can be collected along the foreshore, as well as dug out of this layer within nodules. They are a yellow colour and easy to distinguish. You can also find ammonites in greyish nodules further past Penny Nab.

Further east, you will come to Jet Wyke and Brackenberry Wyke. This is an area where you can find bivalves, oysters and trace fossils, such as burrows and scratch marks made by crustacean claws. Search the foreshore and base of the cliff along your route, but also be sure to check under rocks and in the shingle areas, as often fossils get trapped here.

You will need to walk to Penny Nab, which is not very far from the harbour. On the way, you can find bivalves (Protocardia truncatum, Oxytoma cygnipes and Gryphaea depressa), along with the scaphopod, Dentalium giganteum, within concretions.

At Penny Nab, the famous ammonite nodules can be found containing Amaltheus stokesi.


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.

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