While everybody else has been ringing in the New we have been popping back in time by taking a look at the Old on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast. It is a great twist on a beach scavenge and we hoped that the recent storms may have thrown up and exposed some new fossils.
We have visited Kimmeridge Bay in Dorset several times before. It’s a stunning spot, formed of a semi-circular bay, stony beach, with some beautiful stone ledges perfect for a spot of crabbing. The Dorset Wildlife Trust has a centre there containing all weird and beautiful objects that can be gathered from the sea.
Our first visit to the bay had been a day in the Easter holidays and the beach was literally strewn with small pieces of fossilised rock. Since then we have visited in the summer months and found very little. It possible that the large number of summer visitors also looking for fossils means that the competition is just too great. So we were hopeful that a winter’s day would not disappoint.
This time we picked a sunny day and there were a few people on the beach, but not too many. We were deterred from going too close to the cliffs by the large number of flies that also seemed to have arrived to enjoy the sunshine. It was probably just as well as I am sure the sodden cliffs were none too safe.
The configuration of the bay means that it is a very sheltered spot. It was very nearly warm enough for a picnic. The tide was quite high and the stones likely to contain fossils were just on the edge of the water. So we jumped from rock to rock, searched, scrambled and turned over as many stones as possible.
My favourite fossil – a perfect shape.
My son’s favourite fossil as it was the shape of a crab claw
Our coastal day was then topped off with a 5 mile walk in the army range (they were not active that day) along a ridge with the most beautiful stunningly views. The day trip had been simple perfection. It was fantastic to get a real dose of Vitamin ‘N’ over the Christmas and New Year Break.