ON THE LOOKOUT
• Lying off the Jurassic Coast, the Isle of Wight has been nicknamed Dinosaur Island and is one of the best sites for dinosaur finds in Europe. Fossils, footprints and bones of more than 25 different species have been recorded so far, including neovenator, the new hunter, which stalked the herds of iguanodon that roamed the island.
• West Runton is part of the Deep History Coast that runs for 22 miles between Weybourne and Cart Gap in Norfolk. The region overlooks Doggerland; the area between Britain and mainland Europe that was submerged under what is now the North Sea at the end of the last ice age. The sea washes up reminders of Doggerland’s lost inhabitants, both animal and human.
• The area around Whitby in North Yorkshire is famous for its ammonites and belemnites. Beautiful Whitby jet, often fashioned into jewellery, is the polished fossilised remains of the araucaria tree and is more than 180 million years old.
• Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex has been attracting fossil hunters since the 1800s. Its 86ft (26m) red-brick watchtower was built in 1720 to guide shipping into Harwich, and now offers panoramic views of the beach, where fossilised birds’ skeletons, twigs and fruit, and sharks’ teeth can be uncovered.
• Llantwit Major in the Vale of Glamorgan is famous for fossilised molluscs, including giant brachiopods and gastropods, as well as corals. Half an hour up the coast, Dunraven Bay is a good place to look for the fossilised oysters, known as gryphaea, or, more commonly, Devil’s toenails.
• Just a short drive from Edinburgh, Gosford Sands is a treasure trove for coral, crinoid and brachiopod fossils. Further north, the Helmsdale Fault means the ‘boulder beds’ of Helmsdale are rich in Jurassic fossils, including reptiles and fish, along with the occasional ammonite.