Writhlington, Somerset, England
In late spring of 2012, we visited England for two weeks. We integrated a fossil hunting tour into our holiday, stopping at seven different localities.
This website ---> The UK Fossils Network contains a wealth of information on publicly accessible sites throughout the UK.
Our journey would not have happened if it were not for this website. I applaud them and heartily thank them for the guidance they provided.
This photo shows the location of the spoil pile hidden in the woods. The access described on the UK-Fossils web page is noted in red (A).
There is a gate on the west side of the road, just south of the overhead bridge that carries the old railway, now bike path over the road.
There is room for one small car at the gate. It is necessary to hop over the gate. There is also a bridge over the small river that has been fenced off.
The fence wire is cut, allowing one to climb around and continue up the hill to the site.
Alternately, just north of the bike path bridge is another gate that provides access to the path, shown in black(B). There is room for one car at the gate.
Follow the bike path to the west for a few hundred yards. Several paths lead up to the spoil piles, up over the hill on the left.
When I return, I will go by way of the bike path.
As described on the UK Fossil Network, the surface of the spoil piles have been stripped clean.
However, a pitch fork or pick axe solves that problem.
Sections of good material are easy to unearth, just below the surface.
I only dug up about 1/2 square meter so there is plenty left for others.
We only spent a few hours at the site.
Once freed, the clumps are easily split with a small chisel and hammer, as demonstrated by my lovely daughter, Hannah.
As is typical of this type of carboniferous shale, the fossils are mostly flat impressions, well preserved as shown by my friend Charles.
He is related to King George the 3rd.
Some of the plant stems do retain some 3 dimensionality.
A leaf with multiple fingers.
Another sample of the fossil leaves and rushes to be found.
We made this trek accompanied by our dear friends, Charles and Sophia, their neighbor Lucy,
her brother Barry and three dogs: Charlie the Lurcher, Gertie and Pepper.
The photo was taken by propping the camera in the handle of the pitchfork and setting the timer.
Charles noted that it would make a great cover for our next record album.
We considered the name of "Three Dog Day" but settled on the "The Nearly Extinct".
The finished display box on our fossil wall.
My thanks AGAIN to the The UK Fossils Network for their hot tips!
Questions? E-Mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org