Fossil Hunting in Charmouth

Are you coming fossil hunting in Charmouth to look for the famous Jurassic Coast Fossils?

Winter is a fantastic time to come fossil hunting in Charmouth. The weather and rougher seas draw more fossils out on to the beach where they can be easily found.  However, the cliffs can be extremely dangerous at this time of year, so please do heed the following advice, stay safe, and enjoy yourself.

  • Always go fossil hunting on a falling tide. 2 hours before low tide is ideal.
  • STAY AWAY FROM THE CLIFFS. Rock falls and mud slides occur every day with no warning.  You are also very unlikely to find fossils in the cliffs.
  • DO NOT hammer in the cliffs. It is not allowed and could start a rock fall. Respect the Jurassic Coast.
  • DO NOT walk on the rock falls and mud flows. You can easily sink in, and it can be a very long, cold, wait for help from the Coastguard.
  • DO look for fossils at between the high and low water marks.  About halfway between each is usually best.
  • DO use your eyes. Most of the fossils are found laying on the surface of the beach or between rocks.
  • Do Look where there is evidence of debris washed from the cliffs. Dark grey sand, dark brown lumps of ‘pyrite’ (dark brown knobbly ‘stones’)
  • DO use eye protection if using a hammer. Seek advice from the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre before using a fossil hammer as there is an enormous number of rocks, and only a few contain fossils!

Help and advice is always available, and can save hours of wasted time.   Visit the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre for advice, or the Lyme Regis Museum. Useful information is also available from the Jurassic Coast Trust.

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