This photograph shows Black Ven , East of Lyme Regis. The guided walk to this area is 2 miles total , out and return. It is one of the best stretches of beach along the south coast for collecting small ammonites and belemnites. Walk times to Black Ven are to coincide with appropriate tides. ( There are no walks during neap tides when there is a danger of being cut-off by the sea. ) . The geology of Church Cliffs is stunning to look at from afar. The cliffs here are dangerous and rockfalls occur ( Mary Anning’s dog called Tray was killed in a rockfall ).
We look along the lower beach section for fossils and keep away from mudflows and quicksand.
This photograph is of Monmouth beach, West of Lyme Regis. The walk is 2.5 miles total, out and return. Here there is a large limestone pavement covered with wonderfully detailed ammonites; this is called “ the ammonite graveyard “. We keep to the middle section of the beach as the cliffs are vertical and subject to rockfalls. The furthermost part of the walk, Seven Rock Point , is where we stop and collect. This area is relatively safe but we keep off upper levels because of mudflows and lower levels because of slippery rocks covered in green weed.
This picture shows the beautiful small ammonites and belemnites that can be sieved for in certain areas on the beach. As long as you do not dig in the cliffs in situ you are allowed to keep the fossils washed out on the shore. Some fossils must be recorded on a data base at the Charmouth Heritage Centre. These include insects and dinosaur bones. Then for a period of six months the scientific community has an opportunity to ask to study your fossil finds.
One young walker aged eight found a fossil stick insect which turned out to be only the second of its type ever found worldwide.
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