Where to find fossils in the Cliffs of Dover

Where to find fossils in the Cliffs of Dover

The town of Folkestone is found in the coastal town in Kent and it is located in a short distance west of the famous white cliffs of Dover. This town is surrounded by rocky and sandy beaches which are east and west of the harbour. The fossils can be collected from the base of the cliff and the rocky beach throughout the year. The terrain is a little challenging, however the access is good. Check out this guide to collecting fossils.

The earliest rocks at Folkestone  is over 110 million years ago and is from the Albian stage of the early cretaceous epoch. These were deposited within a shallow marine environment. Lower Greensand is the sandy rocks which are found and these have eroded from the fragile cliffs east, where it forms a rocky beach which extends for 1km around the headland at Cape Point. Out looking the Lower Greensand is Gault clay and it is from this that the marine sediment that Folkestone derives its reputation for fossils.


Access to Copt Point is along the arched promenade which extends the harbour to the eroding cliff face. Looking into the geology of the cliffs and areas east of Folkestone harbour, it reveals a fascinating prehistoric past . During the prehistoric times , the sea was warm, rich in flora and fauna. The rock succession at Folkestone records the marine transgression. During the era of the cretaceous, Britain was above sea level and land was submerged. The Lower Greensand shows the initial marine stages during the early Albian era. The sand is naturally derived from areas of high erosion generally close to a beach or within a river. In comparison to the finer particles of silt which could remain suspended within the column of water, sand settles relatively fast to the sea floor and is only transported by strong tides. The sandy composition of the Lower Greensand shows a moving shoreline.

The Lower Greensand consists of only very delicate fossils and the generally found ones are large, thick shelled molluscs which are capable to withstand strong currents and distributed waters found near a shore environment. Erosion is common and is subjected to intense forces from the sea which causes the clay and sandstone to break. This happens following stormy weather.