Fossil Hunters Warned to Take Care when Visiting Dorset Beaches
With the longer days and the relatively calmer weather the southern coast of England has been experiencing recently, fossil hunters may be tempted to venture out onto the beach to look for fossils. However, team members at Everything Dinosaur are urging all would-be fossil hunters to take great care as they venture out to look for ancient remains of life that may have been washed out of cliffs as a result of the winter storms.
A spokes person from the UK based dinosaur company stated:
“Although many people will be tempted to visit the Dorset coast and other coastal locations looking for fossils, we urge everybody to take precautions. Many of the cliffs remain extremely dangerous and land slides and rock falls are very common, it is best to stay away from the cliffs.”
Hazardous Conditions for Fossil Hunters
Picture credit: Everything Dinosaur/Brandon Lennon
Over the next few weekends, thousands of amateur palaeontologists will been drawn to the area, encouraged by news of recent fossil discoveries but many will be unaware of the risks they are taking by climbing or searching too close to the falling cliffs. The arrow in the picture above shows a person stood next to a recent rock fall, this helps to provide a sense of scale for the landslide.
Richard Edmunds, a geologist who works for Dorset County Council stated that if people were sensible then fossil hunting on the beaches of Dorset can be a wonderful experience but he advised that it was best to stay away from the cliffs. He echoed the sentiments expressed by Everything Dinosaur team members.
The geologist went onto add:
“Yes, the fossils are coming out of the cliff-falls, but they are impossible to find in the mud. People do get stuck which is why we have a mud rescue team in the coastguard. It is best to look [for fossils] on the beach, where the sea has done all the hard work of cleaning the fossils.