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Fossil Collecting on the Dorset Coast

Posted by David Penney on

The Dorset coast, located in the southwest of England, is well known for its geological diversity and the wealth of fossils that can be found there. From ammonites and belemnites to dinosaur footprints, the area has a rich history that spans over millions of years.

Fossil collecting on the Dorset coast is a popular activity for people of all ages, and it is a great way to learn about the geological history of the area. Here are some tips and tricks to help you make the most out of your fossil hunting experience.

  1. Choose the right location

The Dorset coast is vast, and different areas offer different opportunities for fossil collecting. The best places to look for fossils are the beaches and cliffs around Charmouth, Lyme Regis, and Kimmeridge. These areas are rich in ammonites, belemnites, and other marine creatures.

  1. Check the tide times

It is important to check the tide times before you go fossil collecting. Many of the best locations for fossil hunting are only accessible at low tide, so plan your trip accordingly. Also, keep in mind that the tides can change quickly, so be aware of your surroundings and be prepared to move to higher ground if necessary.

  1. Dress appropriately

The Dorset coast can be windy and chilly, even in the summer months, so it is important to dress appropriately. Wear warm clothing and sturdy shoes with good grip, as the cliffs and beaches can be slippery.

  1. Bring the right equipment

You will need some basic equipment for fossil collecting, including a hammer, chisel, and safety glasses. A backpack or a bag to carry your finds is also recommended. Remember to bring some water and snacks to keep you hydrated and energized during your trip.

  1. Respect the environment

When fossil hunting on the Dorset coast, it is important to respect the environment and follow the local regulations. Do not disturb any cliffs or rocks, as this can cause erosion and damage to the area. Take only the fossils you find on the beach, and leave any specimens embedded in the rocks or cliffs for future generations to discover.


  1. Get help from experts

If you are new to fossil collecting, it can be helpful to get advice from experts. There are many guided fossil hunting tours available in the area, which can provide you with valuable information and guidance on how to find and identify fossils.

In conclusion, fossil collecting on the Dorset coast is a fascinating and educational activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. By following these tips and respecting the environment, you can have a safe and rewarding experience and uncover the secrets of the Jurassic Coast. If you are not sure where to start check out our series of guides to the various regions along this coastline.


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