Fossil hunting in the South West

A view of the coastline from the summit of Golden Cap, Dorset, at dawn

The Jurassic Coast is famous for fossils. Charmouth beach, part of the Golden Cap estate, is a great starting point if you want to find them.

“Many millions of years ago Charmouth beach was a tropical sea and salt marsh. As animals died they fell to the bottom of the sea and were fossilised. Since then the land has moved and the rock that once made up the sea floor now makes up the cliffs,' says Rob Rhodes, our countryside manager.
 
These cliffs are easily eroded by the sea, which washes away the soft rock to reveal hidden fossils of the creatures that once swam in the tropical seas. You can literally pick the fossils up as you walk along the beach.
 
The Golden Cap estate on the Jurassic Coast is a great place to start if you're interested in hunting for fossils: you can pick them up off the ground and tick off No.26 on your 50 things challenge, and the views are pretty special too.