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Schwarz

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Reply with quote  #1 

Hello everyone,

Our family will be visiting Reading in early December, and I would like to take our son collecting. From the site, Bracklesham Bay appears to be the place! If the tides are in our favor, do you agree? I would very much appreciate your advice - we will have one day to see one location.

I am also writing about an anecdote that my paleobotany professor told years ago. He spoke of collecting pyrite seed fossils from the banks of the river Thames. Unfortunately, I don't have a location for his wanderings. Might he have been searching through London Clay? Have any of you shared this experience?

Thank you

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Rolo

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Schwarz,
I have not been to Bracklesham for some years, but it is very tide dependant. You need spring tides to expose as much beach as possible, don't go on short neap tides because your chances will be greatly reduced. On the right tides it is a great location.
Depending on what you are interested in looking for also consider Eastbourne and Folkestone(kent) which are both within reach.
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snowyandtintin

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Reply with quote  #3 
If you've never been to Bracklesham Bay, it's worth the effort but especially on a retreating, low spring tide but even without, a number of specimens can usually be found on the flat, sandy beach, or in the shingle. Shark teeth are a common enough find in the shingle and invariably specimens of the commonest shells, such as Venericor planicosta and Haustator sp. along with the foraminifera, Nummelites, can be found on the sand. As already mentioned, it's a location that is tide dependent and ideally you need to walk out a bit, on low tides, to find the beds and better specimens. Park up at PO 20 8JS and head for the beach directly ahead of the car park. It can be bitterly disappointing also and I've known the entire beach covered in sand, with not a fossil in sight but that's the nature of the hobby sometimes.

Another site close to Eastbourne is Seaford. It's good spot for Chalk fossils and echinoids in particular. Park at the Seaford Head Nature Reserve car park (nearest postcode BN25 4JQ). Access to the cliffs and foreshore is through the reserve and the path leads to the steps at Hope Gap.

The pyritised seeds sound as if they are from the London Clay Formation. The banks of the Thames is not a well-known location and I suspect quite dangerous! You'd be better off at Warden Point or Minster, on the Isle of Sheppey.


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Schwarz

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Reply with quote  #4 

Thank you both for your replies!

With these directions, how could we ever miss the site or not recognize what we may see?!? Our fingers are crossed that the conditions are in our favor.

I appreciate your help.

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s.c.

Cretaceous Climber
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Reply with quote  #5 

You can easily check tides online using tide tables or download a few app like "my tide times" or "tides" to help time your arrival and decide between locations depending on the size of tide. Have a good hunt!

s.c.
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barbarasaurus

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Reply with quote  #6 
Visited Bracklesham yesterday.  Fantastic weather, but the beach is covered in sand and the fossiliferous reefs are buried.  There are plenty of Venericor, Turritella and nummulites lying loose on the sand.

no reef.jpg 

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snowyandtintin

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Reply with quote  #7 
Well done, barbarasaurus! 
Bracklesham Bay can be challenging at times but there's usually something to be found, even if it's the same specimens as you did! 
Another day, a change in the wind or tide direction, it can be a different story.
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