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Park Lane fossil collecting (Sussex)

Fossil collecting at Park Lane

The Park Lane site is a road cutting in Pulborough that exposes the Sandgate Formation. Hard ironstones within the layer yield a variety of well-preserved bivalves. Although overgrown, the ironstones are highly fossiliferous. Therefore, once the bed is located, plenty of specimens should be found.

Directions:
Park Lane is an unmarked road, found just to the west of Pulborough. From the A29, there is a minor road heading west (Coombelands Lane), which passes a church and then crosses a railway line. Beyond the railway, you will pass over a public footpath on both the left and right hand side of the road. Continue on until you will see a narrow road heading up hill on the left. This is also a public footpath. This is Park Lane. Park on the grass and walk up the road. It is a short lane that leads to a farm. The fossiliferous exposures are found in the banks of the cutting. Park Farm is found just east of the Pulborough Park Plantation and east of the railway station at Pulborough.

Geology: The Sandgate Formation is divided into the Marehill Clay, Pulborough Sandrock, Bargate Beds and Fittleworth Bed. Here, the road cuts through the Pulborough Sandrock. Although completely different in appearance from what is usually thought of as greensand, this is actually part of the Lower Greensand Group.

Fossil collecting: As you walk up Park Lane, you will notice a sandy formation in the banks. This contains outcrops of hard ironstones in pockets. One such pocket is quite easy to find, since it is on either side of a large tree on the left hand side of the road. These contain the ironstones and splitting them will reveal bivalves. These include Gervillella, Nucula, Arca, Toucasia, Parmicorbula and Resatrix. They are often preserved as moulds, but complete specimens can also be found. They also tend to be black on brown rock, so they really stand out when exposed and, if moulds are found, the inside of the shell is shown in great detail. This makes them quite unique. Indeed, the Toucasia bivalve is quite rare in the UK, being a Tethyan immigrant and indicating warm waters, but here it can be found fairly commonly.

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Fossils - The most common finds are a variety of bivalves.
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Equipment: A chisel should be used to split any loose rock, but hammering the bedrock is not permitted because this site is an SSSI. Alternatively, take loose samples of the rock home for splitting, as it is quite rich in fossils.

Safety: Common sense when collecting at all locations should be used. This is a road and, although hardly ever used, you need to watch out for vehicles. DO NOT leave rocks lying on the road and make sure you tidy up any loose debris when you have finished.

Further information: View public discussions and other people's finds, or add your own reports and photos by going to our Discussion Board. The Sandgate Formation can also be found at Sandgate, Folkestone, although the foreshore exposures are only visible during scouring conditions and often covered up.

Stone Tumblers

If you are interested in fossil collecting, then you may also be interested in a stone tumbler (Lapidary). You can polish stones and rocks from the beach which will look fantastic polished using a stone tumbler. You can polish rough rock and beach glass whilst collecting fossils, on those days where you come back empty handed. These are all high quality machines to give a professional finish to your samples. They can even be used for amber and fossils.

Microscopes

At most locations, you can find microfossils. You only need a small sample of the sand. You then need to wash it in water and sieve using a test sieve. We also sell petri dishes, to help you store your fossils.We have a wide range of microscopes for sale, you will need a Stereomicroscope for viewing microfossils. The best one we sell is the IMXZ, but a basic microscope will be fine. Once you have found microfossils, you will need to store these microfossils.

Test Sieves

Test Sieves are used when searching for microfossils. All you need is a small amount of sample such as clays, sands and shales, or if you have acid, limestone, oolite or chalk. Our UKGE Store sells Endecotts and Impact Test Sieves, these laboratory sieves are highly accurate and extremely durable. These Test sieves are fantastic for microfossils. Test Sieves come in a variety of sizes, frame material and types, they are certificated to EU Standards.