Fossil Hunting at Cocklawburn Beach

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Led by local expert Dr Ian Kille, Northumbrian Earth is running a walk at Cocklawburn Beach just south of Berwick-upon-Tweed. The walk is on Tuesday 28th May starting at 10:00 am and finishing at 1:00pm. This walk will be approximately 4 km long and will involve some scrambling across rocks on the foreshore. Strong boots are recommended and some may find walking poles helpful.

Cocklawburn Beach is not only a stunningly beautiful beach but it also contains a wealth of fossilised ancient life preserved within the layers of rock spread across the beach. This walk will take you out onto the rocky skerrs in search of fossils and will explain what the fossils were and how they lived.

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 a deltaic environment (with river-sands, lake-mud and coal-swamps) and a shallow tropical sea. 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. The remains of these sea creatures can easily be found if you know where to look.

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If you can’t make the Cocklawburn walk, the following geowalk will be at Beadnell at 2pm on Wednesday 12th June.

Limestone grooves at CocklawburnLimestone grooves at Cocklawburn
Limestone grooves at Cocklawburn

The Cocklawburn walk is the first in the series of Northumberland Coast AONB geo-diversity walks for 2024. Booking is essential for all walks. To book a place email Ian at [email protected]. For full details of this walk and others go to the Northumbrian Earth website www.northumbrianearth.co.uk/geo-walks.

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