Ed Lines: Fossil Hunting with the family

Cliffs and beach at Reculver

Our family blogger Ed Charles has the inside scoop on a great spot to go fossil-hunting with the family this summer.

Kent has one of the largest coastlines of any county in the country and the Kent coastline in the summer is a real treat.

I was speaking to one of our family members the other evening and happened to mention fossil hunting at Reculver.  The member was genuinely surprised that this was something that you could do, so beyond sharing this information with him, I thought I would share it with you, too.

Cliffs and beach at Reculver

Cliffs and beach at Reculver

Reculver is easy to find.  Google maps is fairly standard these days so try CT6 6SS.  Parking is plentiful though you do have to pay, so take some change. 

From the car park walk toward the cliff away from the towers.  There is a slipway down onto the beach.  Please check tide times here.

Fossilised sharks teeth and ruler

Fossilised sharks teeth found on Reculver beach

Below the cliffs, in the fine shingle (which looks a lot like pea gravel) the eagle-eyed can pull out 55 million-year-old sharks’ teeth.

It takes some persistence, but you need to be on the lookout for anything dark black.  This photo shows our most recent haul and there are some real beauties to be had.

Shark tooth fossil

Shark tooth fossil

Please do not dig in the cliffs for fossils: they are safe as they stand, but the sands can collapse without warning The fossils are continually being washed out of the rock beds, so you will find some.

Afterwards, a continued walk along the beach will eventually lead to a return journey along the top of the cliff.  Some outstanding views can be had so do take some binoculars.

Finally, if you really want to tire the kids out a little bit more, there is a great new play park next to the car park.  There is a café, HatHats or for a longer afternoon, a pub The King Ethelbert.  We have eaten at the pub a few times and can recommend. 

Do let Kent Wildlife Trust know about your finds this summer by sharing with us on social media.

Shingle beach at Reculver