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Northumbrian Earth
The Old Reading Room
Kirknewton
NE71 6XE

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Fossil hunting at Cocklawburn

From September 01 2019 10:00 am until September 01 2019 1:00 pm
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Sunday 1st September: meet at 10:00. Meet at the car parking area by the ice-cream van at the southern end of Cocklawburn Beach. 

Cocklawburn Beach is not only a stunnigly beautiful beach but it also contains a wealth of fossilised ancient life preserved within the layers of rock mapped out across the beach. When these layers of rocks were laid down about 350 million years ago this was a large shallow basin which over hundreds of thousands of years alternated between deltaic sands, mud and swamp and shallow tropical seaa. In these tropical seas there lived a wide variety of sea creatures including crinoids, brachipods, corals, orthocones, fish and trilobites, and their shells and bones in their millions sank to the bottom of the sea to form lime rich layers. Over time these were turned into the hard limestone layers which delimit Cocklawburn Beach and the remains of the sea creatures can easily be found if you know where to look. This walk will take you out onto the limetones shelves and elsewhere in search of fossils along with an explanation of what they were and how they lived.   

This walk will be approximately 4 km and will involve some scrambling across rocks on the foreshore.

The walk is run as part of the Northumberland Coast AONB series of geo-diversity walks. Just turn up. A donation will be asked for to cover the costs of the walk, an amount of £10 is recommended, however Northumbrian Earth would like to make these walks accessible to all, so a donation will be asked of  whatever you can afford and/or you think the walk is worth.


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Interesting items

  • In Praise of Pentagonal

    In Praise of Pentagonal

    A sharp eyed walk along the beach at Cocklawburn or on Lindisfarne and with a bit of luck you may find a small disc, shaped like a tiny petrified polo mint.

  • Where has Hadrian’s Wall Gone?

    Where has Hadrian’s Wall Gone?

    Before I answer that question, here is a little bit of background information from a manuscript fragment recently discovered in an obscure roman outpost at Ecclesia Novum-Oppidum near to the Fluvium Collegium (surprisingly close to where I live!) and published in the journal Falsus Nuntium. 

  • Northumberland Coast Rocks!

    Northumberland Coast Rocks!

    This project, which was completed during 2015 organised by the Howick Heritage Group and supported with HLF funding, delivered a book, some educational work with a local first and middle school and a series of walks and talks. In this section of geo-diversity resources you can have a look at the presentation given for the walks and talks as well as much of the material which was used in the educational work including lesson plans, activities and exercises.  There is also a handy guide to fossils to be found on the beach at Seahouses (and elsewhere on the coast).

Testimonials

  • "Ian is an ethusiastic geologist and if you go on enough of his walks you soon will be too! Although I have visited the Northumberland Coast many times before, learning about its geology allowed me to see it from a very different perspective. Ian was an enagaging and entertaining guide and as a result of his walk I was able to understand more about this fascinating area."

    Sam Isaac
    Sustainable Tourism researcher

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