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Fossil Hunting at Cocklawburn

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Fossil Hunting at Cocklawburn Dr Ian Kille

The Northumberland Coast AONB season of Geodiversity walks reaches its finale for this year with a walk on Sunday September 1st starting at 10am. These walks are led by local geologist Dr Ian Kille and give an opportunity to explore the fascinating stories that the rocks exposed on the coastline tell of our deep past as well as how they have shaped the area’s history.

This final geodiversity walk will be from the parking area to the south of Cocklawburn Beach and will give an opportunity to explore the rich variety of fossils to be found on the beach and to enter into the ancient world recorded in the rocks along the coast here.

Immediately south of Berwick-upon-Tweed as you leave the promenade at Spittal, the beach gives way to rocky skerrs backed by steep cliffs. Just a few miles further down the coast, and the cliffs drop down again to reveal the grand sweep of Cocklawburn Beach with its rocky headlands, skerrs and sandy beaches leading the eye to the large dune-land and breaker ruled sand flats towards Lindisfarne. In this beautiful place it is possible to find the fossilised remains of ancient sea-creatures from a 340 million-year-old tropical sea. This geodiversity walk will give an opportunity to spend time finding out where you can find these fossils, what sort of creature they were and what they tell us about life in this ancient ocean.

As Ian commented “my very first experience of geology was hunting for fossils and I still love the excitement of finding the remains of these ancient creatures. They are both beautiful and intriguing and tell stories about the creatures and the world which they inhabited. This was a world which was similar in the physical nature and process of that environment to our own present, but with very different animals and plants and a radically different configuration of the landscape”.  

The walk starts at 10am on Sunday 1st September at the parking area on your left where the road bends to the right. This is at the top of a small rise just to the south of where the ice-cream van usually parks. This walk will be approximately 4 km and will involve some scrambling across slippery beach rocks, so good footwear, appropriate clothing and a basic level of fitness is required. Walking poles may be helpful for scrambling on rocks.

Details of this walk can be found on the Northumbrian Earth website  along with all of the other geo-walks being run by Northumbrian Earth in conjunction with the Northumberland Coast AONB. 

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