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darrrius
Hi,

This wood was found at Beltinge on a previous visit, in late 2019.  There was a lot more of it when I first brought it home but a lot of it crumbled away to dust.  The rest now seems pretty well preserved and I'll look into how to best preserve it long term. I was just wondering if anyone could tell how old this might be - it seems half turned to stone already and there are lots of sparkly crystals all over the remaining wood parts:

20200603_120904.jpg  20200603_120935.jpg  20200603_120810.jpg  20200603_120826.jpg  20200603_120835.jpg 
Many thanks!
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Brittle Star
Hi
The sparkly bits and the dull gold bits are pyrite and will decay and turn to an awful dust taking the fossil wood with it. Soaking the fossil in water to remove the salt first then slowly dry out. Depends on how stable the wood is at this point. I have preserved mine by totally covering in a few coats of Paraloid which needs dissolving in acetone, you can control the solution strength I think I use about 10 per cent. Online has loads of information on how to use it. This then should exclude all the air and stabilise the fossil. It would need regular checking and recoat if necessary.
JW

 Never ask a star fish for directions
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Dirty Pete
Hi 
50 million years +/- assuming it's from the London Clay. Sparkly stuff might be pyrite.

Pete
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darrrius
Thanks guys. Its amazing that I can walk on a beach and find stuff that is 50M years old.... I'm getting really interested in this new hobby 🙂  I collected shark teeth from Abbeywood when young. I've always lived 10 min walk from that site. But now in my 40's I'm able to get out and about to other sites...  looking to go Folkstone next.
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Gary W
The main area at Beltinge is Woolwich beds, Paleocene, so a bit older than London Clay, c55 million years.
The fossil looks like pyritised wood, there is virtually no way to preserve it unfortunately.
Gary
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prep01
Hi, I agree that it's fossil wood, but don't know the area - it might have been washhed down from the London clay from the beds further North. As with all fossils collected from a saline environment, the first thing to do is to desalinate - soak in a bucket / suitable container for several days, changeing water 2 / 3 times  (time depends on porosity) then thoroughly air dry or soak for a couple of hours in 1: 4 PVA in water (not wood glue) or air dry and coat with 5% Paraloid in acetone. Either way, air dry and place in a resealable bag with some Silica gel and check for any white powdery deposits.
Colin Huller
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Gary W
There is a lot of fossil wood in the woolwich beds at Beltinge, it looks exactly like the photos.  It is very unstable and to be honest not worth the effort of preserving!
Gary
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