Field Trip Reports

Ketton Quarry report back 01/12/2018

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A fine drizzle of rain made it ideal fossil hunting conditions for our visit to Ketton Quarry. Thank you to all the members who braved the weather.

Here’s just a few photos of the day, please send in any more you may have so we can add them here.

Marine crocodile possible Lemmysuchus

Preserved truncated rootlets.

Calcite crystals

Echinoid spine


Thalattosuchian – and almost surely a metriorhynchid.

Members looking for fossils

See you all next year 😊


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Report back from the trip to the OUMNH on Saturday the 17th of November 2018.

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When you read and “quoted” below from the very informative Oxford University Museum Natural History website.

“Oxford University Museum of Natural History was founded in 1860, and today it holds an internationally-significant collection of natural history specimens and archives. Housed in a stunning neo-Gothic building inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites, the Museum is home to a lively programme of research, teaching and public events.”

You know its going to be a great day.

The architecture of this stunning building really comes to life with full sunlight beaming down for the mid-morning arrival of members of the Stamford and District Geological Society. As we were treated to an organised behind the scenes tour of palaeontology, guided by Dr Hilary Ketchum Collections Manager, Palaeontology.

With kind permission from the OUMNH we can show you some pictures from the day below.

Hilary talking to us about some of the historic fossils housed at the museum.

Stunning Ichthyosaur and plesiosaur display cases.

And a real treat to see a marine crocodile found in Eye, Peterborough.

And of course seeing the newly found plesiosaur “Eve” also from Peterborough.

Ending the guided tour with a wonderful look at some of the many thousands of vertebrate fossils collected from the past and present. To which I can assure you was a real eye opener for our younger members.

We shall hopefully organise another trip to the OUMNH next year.

Ketton Quarry report back : June the 2nd : 2018

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Wonderful day at Ketton Quarry with members of the SDGS. This site has probably the best section of the Middle Jurassic strata in the East Midlands. Our trip took us through the quarry revealing rocks from the Upper Lias Clay to the Kellaways sands and clays. We were also privileged to visit the northern part of the pit to view some fantastic faulting.

As a group we mainly concentrated looking for fossils in the Upper and Middle Bathonian sections.

Here’s a few scenery and fossil photos of the day from some of our members. With more to follow 🙂

Various Asteracanthus teeth in situ and cleaned up.

Scenery and members

Close ups of cleaned fossils

Also we were allowed to hand hold some of the fossils that had been found around the quarry over the years. And that have been donated by various visitors. With this one below that had been donated by “Alan Dawn” himself. It has no provenance associated with it whatsoever. If anyone should have any information on this very intriguing fossil, then do let the society know.

Thank you for all those Involved at Ketton Quarry for making a great day out. And see you again soon.

* Another pleasant Winters Talk by Richard Forrest *

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Hi Stamford and District Geological Society

I just wanted to take a minute today to let you all know what a fantastic job you are doing for the society. Honestly I was a little worried about what I had gotten myself into!

Since then however you all have been absolutely fantastic about turning things around. I think everyone is really excited about the new changes that we have all implemented around here. Anyway I just wanted to let you all know that I really appreciate your hard work and dedication and that we wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for all of you.

….Thank you Stuart for your report back on the Plesiosaur talk kindly given to us by Richard Forrest as follows below :

A talk by Richard Forrest: Plesiosaurs

“Richard gave the somewhat numerically reduced Society members a most interesting and very informative talk on Plesiosaurs.
After stating they were found throughout the world in marine sediments and in the UK mainly in the Oxford and Kimmeridge Clays of the late Jurassic, he divided his talk into the following sections. Firstly the skeleton with particular reference to ribs from both ‘back’ and ‘front’ and varying numbers of neck vertebrae. He said their feeding habit could be determined from their teeth, which were replaced as the animal grew from the side and not beneath as is more normal. To assist grinding prey such as Molluscs and Cephalopods they swallowed stones (gastroliths). On reproduction Richard said fossils had been found with embryonic bones in the carcass indicating single live birth ‘pups’. This, he said, would indicate possible nurturing. Their method of locomotion was twin sets of flippers which gave good acceleration when necessary but precluded any venturing on to the shore. Their sensory perception was well advanced with good binocular vision and a snout well-endowed with water passages lined with fine blood vessels and rich in nerve endings. This allowed them to ‘sense’ the water and also pick up vibrations.

The talk continued with some history of Plesiosaur fossil finds and the philosophical problems they caused by being extinct. God only made perfect organisms etc.

Altogether a rich, rewarding and enjoyable talk.“

Thanks and keep up the great work!

Sincerely Yours,


* Lea Quarry field trip photos from the 3rd of October 2015 *

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Here are some photos from our Lea Quarry field trip on the 3rd of October 2015 sent in from one of our members. I really like the extra spooky FOG EFFECT…

Dalejina sp

Dalejina sp 1

Dalmanites cephalons

Dalmanites cephalons ‏ 2a

Dalmanites cephalons

Dalmanites cephalons1‏ a

Dalmanites pygidium

Dalmanites pygidium 1

Favosites gothlandicus

Favosites gothlandicus  1c

Favosites gothlandicus

Favosites gothlandicus ‏1d

Gastropod Loxonema gregaria

Gastropod  Loxonema gregaria

Stromatapora sp

Stromatapora sp 1c

Stromatapora sp

Stromatapora sp 1d

Fossiling in the Fog

fossiling in the fog

In the Abyss

in the abyss

Over looking the quarry

over looking the quarry 1

This ” pineapple ” coral is actually the coral Arachnophyllum murchisoni. It looks like the Acervularia but has differences. It lived from the start of the silurian to the Wenlock period.

Acervularia sp

Members group shot

group shot

Fossiling in the Fog

fossiling in the fog 1

Overlooking the Quarry

over looking the quarry



* Bantycock Opencast quarry field trip 19/09/2015 * report back *

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Hi everyone,

Continuing on with the run of fine weather we are having the SDGS members where blessed with glorious weather for their field trip to Bantycock Opencast quarry. With thirteen members attending it was a fantastic turn out.

I’d just like to thank you all for making the trip well done everyone. I’d also like to thank all those involved in getting this field trip off the ground as it’s no easy feat. And a very big thanks to Andrew Swift for leading us.

And of course to all the staff at Bantycock Opencast quarry for giving up some of their time and exposing a section of Westbury Formation for us, for that we are always very appreciative.
Look forward to next year’s trip.



And now pleasantries aside here are a few photos that one of our members has sent us of their finds. If you should have any other photos then please don’t hesitate to send them in.

Small caudal ichthyosaur vertebra
small caudal ichthyosaur vertebra

Probably a pliosaur rib section but it seems to have grooves on one side so it could be part of an ichthyosaur mandible. The member who found it keeps changing their mind about which it is!….so any help would be appreciated.
probably a pliosaur rib section or part of an ichthyosaur mandible

part of an ichthyosaur mandible or probably a pliosaur rib section

Plesiosaur rib
plesiosaur rib

A selection of coprolites, most with scaly inclusions.
selection of coprolites most with scaly inclusions

* Tilton Railway Cuttings & Browns Hill Quarry 05/07/2015 report back *

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Tilton Railway Cuttings & Browns Hill Quarry.

A most enjoyable day was had by all involved especially as it’s been a while since the society has visited these two sites. Let’s not leave it so long this time and plan a return for next year.

Here are just a few of our finds and some really pleasant scenery photos.

If you have any photos from the day email them to me and Ill post them here for you.

Thank you Keith for showing us around and sharing some of your fruits from your garden….perfect.

p.s. I have not had the time as yet to establish what species the Ammonites are ….all suggestions welcome.

Members at browns hill quarry

Browns Hill Quarry 001


Ammonite 1a


Ammonite 2a


Ammonite 3a


Ammonite 4a


Ammonite 5a

Ammonite fragments

Ammonite fragments

Ammonites from bedding plane

Ammonites from bedding plane

Browns Hill quarry

Belemnites at browns hill quarry 1

Belemnites at Browns Hill quarry in situ

belemnites at browns hill quarry

Crushed ammonites in situ

crushed ammonites in situ 1

Crushed ammonites in situ

crushed ammonites in situ

lobothyris punctata

lobothyris punctata 1a

lobothyris punctata

lobothyris punctata 1b

Members at browns hill quarry

members at browns hill quarry

Members searching for ammonites

members searching for ammonites 1

Members searching for ammonites

members searching for ammonites

Paper thin crushed ammonite

paper thin crushed ammonite

Partial ammonite

partial ammonite 1

Partial ammonite

partial ammonite 2

Partial ammonite

partial ammonite

Partial ammonites

partial ammonites

Tilton Railway Cutting

Tilton Railway Cuttings 1

Tilton Railway Cutting

Tilton Railway Cuttings 2

Tilton Railway Cutting

Tilton Railway Cuttings 3

Tilton Railway Cutting

Tilton Railway Cuttings 4

Members searching for ammonites

Browns Hill Quarry 006

Members searching for ammonites

Browns Hill Quarry 010

Members searching for ammonites

Browns Hill Quarry 012



* Ketton Quarry report *

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A fine day for fresh air, humour and of course fossils.

Quick note to me or for other field trip leaders to Ketton Quarry: “Whatever the weather is at the time past or present be prepared to encounter the 50 meter quagmire stretch that wellies would be more suitable before you hit some dry land.”

“I keep saying I’ll write this in my field notes for future trips but always forget .I wasn’t going to mention this minor annoyance but it’s something we all chuckle about on our way into and out of the site.”

After you have tippy toed the squelches… are presented with one of the largest spoil piles that you are probably ever likely to encounter. Where upon you need to start planning to yourself “how am I going to tackle this and where do I start”. Which is part of the fun especially for the new members amongst us, but they needn’t worry as there is always knowledgeable seasoned members especially for this particular site to pass on any information needed and to answer as many questions as possible.

….The gusts of wind felt relatively calm as they brushed your legs while you pondered on what to do as the spoil becomes more apparent. But for those in the know and prepared to tackle this mini mountain those wisps of wind below can be gale force gusts on the top and believe they were.

Your options are plentiful to look for fossils: either scour the outskirts of the said mini mountain for fossils that have weathered out and tumbled down, or traverse the only so slightly steep sides to which you can achieve some fine results or get to the top. If you should manage the hike to the top, which most of our members did then the view is breath taking (literally). In In geology and earth science, a plateau also called a high plain or tableland and I think that’s a very appropriate description for this square stretch of land at the top of the spoil pile. It’s very weathered and abundant in fossils shells, corals, echinoids, and sharks’ teeth can all be found here.

You really can immerse yourself in your own little world at Ketton Quarry due to the vastness of the quarry as you forage around. And all our members came home with a variety of fossils which was very pleasing to see indeed.
It was great to see so many members at this event and look forward to seeing you all here again next year…….” Must remember my stretch of mud notes “

Thank you to Kenny and Bill for making this day possible and to all the staff at Ketton Quarry.

P.S. if you have any photos you would like to see added to this report back (I’ve already started to add some of mine ( prepped, in-situ fossil photos and scenery shots at the bottom of this page) then please could you e-mail them to me. Also if you would like to add your own comments about the day all you need to do is login. If you don’t have any login details then just ask me and I can set this up for you.

It really is simple.



Acrosalenia hemicidaroides

“Acrosalenia hemicidaroides”

Asteracanthus magnus tooth

“Asteracanthus magnus tooth”

Asteracanthus tenius tooth in situ

“Asteracanthus tenius tooth in situ”

Asteracanthus tenius tooth

“Asteracanthus tenius tooth”

echinoid Clypeus ploti bottom view 1b

“echinoid Clypeus ploti bottom view 1b”

echinoid Clypeus ploti bottom view 3b

“echinoid Clypeus ploti bottom view 3b”

echinoid Clypeus ploti bottom view 3c

“echinoid Clypeus ploti bottom view 3c”

echinoid Clypeus ploti close up view 1c

“echinoid Clypeus ploti close up view 1c”

echinoid Clypeus ploti close up view 2c

“echinoid Clypeus ploti close up view 2c”

echinoid Clypeus ploti in situ 1

“echinoid Clypeus ploti in situ 1”

echinoid Clypeus ploti in situ 2

“echinoid Clypeus ploti in situ 2”

echinoid Clypeus ploti top view 1a

“echinoid Clypeus ploti top view 1a”

echinoid Clypeus ploti top view 3a

“echinoid Clypeus ploti top view 3a”

Eomesodon trigonus tooth in situ

“Eomesodon trigonus tooth in situ”

Eomesodon trigonus tooth

“Eomesodon trigonus tooth”

quarry view 1

“quarry view 1”

quarry view 2

“quarry view 2”


“quarry view 3”

rootlets in grantham formation 1

“rootlets in grantham formation 1”

rootlets in grantham formation 2

“rootlets in grantham formation 2”

echinoid Clypeus ploti bottom view 2b

“echinoid Clypeus ploti bottom view 2b”

echinoid Clypeus ploti top view 2a

“echinoid Clypeus ploti top view 2a”

*Much Wenlock Field Trip Report*

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Here’s a quick group shot of the party before we entered the quarry. I’ve plenty more photos to show everyone as soon as I can.

group shot

Again our group of individuals set of from various parts of the country driving through some heavy persistent rain. With the mind set at (you’re going to get wet on arrival) we all safely arrived at the agreed meeting point.

Where upon arrival we met the husband and quarry owner of our contact Katy Bickerton. He gave us a brief description of the surrounding area about what to expect and where to go…a very nice chap who couldn’t be more helpful.

Katy arrived not long after us around 10.15am we had a discussion about the dos and don’ts and the all-important Health and Safety matters. After that we pretty much had free reign of the quarry where Katy left us to our own devices.

With the all-important trust instilled between both parties we made our way down through an under pass which I think was called from memory (Gorge Tunnel) into the quarry itself.

I forgot to mention the weather was quite sunny after an hour of being there which really bought the best out of everyone and making another fantastic field trip.

We shall most defiantly be back next year.

Here are some scenic photos and some of the fossils semi prepped and in situ that I collected ….don’t forget to add yours when you can.Ive I.D. them the best I can.


p.s. Thank you Andrew from Shropshire for helping us get our eyes trained into those Trilobites.


crinoid head

crinoid head 1

crinoid head 3

Euomphalopterus alatus

fovasitella interpuncta

ketophyllum subturbinatum

limestone plate



unknown coral 4

unknown coral

Unknown corals

unknown coral 14

unknown coral 14

unknown coral 15

unknown coral 16

unknown coral 17

unknown coral 18

Atrypa reticularis 1

Atrypa reticularis 2

Atrypa reticularis 3

Atrypa reticularis 4

Atrypa reticularis 5

Atrypa reticularis 6

Atrypa reticularis 7

Atrypa reticularis 8

Atrypa reticularis 9

Atrypa reticularis 10

Atrypa reticularis 11

Atrypa reticularis 12

Atrypa reticularis 13

Atrypa reticularis 14


coral 1

coral 2


Cricoconarida 1a

crinoid head 1b

crinoid head 2c

Dawsonoceras annulatum

entrance to quarry

Favosites goathlandicus 1a

Favosites goathlandicus 1b

Favosites goathlandicus 1c

heliolites interstinctus anterior view

heliolites interstinctus posterior view

Ketophyllum subturbinatum 1a

Ketophyllum subturbinatum 1b

limestone nodule

limestone plate 1

limestone plate 2 showing Strophomenida

limestone plate 3

maby Rhynchonellidea 1a

maby Rhynchonellidea 1b

maby Rhynchonellidea 2a

maby Rhynchonellidea 2b

maby Rhynchonellidea 3a

maby Rhynchonellidea 3b

maby Spiriferida 1a

maby Spiriferida 1b

path leading to entrance

Poleumita discorus

south quarry 1

south quarry

Strophomenida 2

Strophomenida 3

trilobite 1

Trilobites in limestone

tunnel gorge

unknown coral 6a

unknown coral 6b

unknown coral 7a

unknown coral 11

unknown coral 12

unknown coral 13a anterior view

unknown coral 15a anterior view

unknown coral 16a anterior view

unknown coral 17a anterior view

unknown coral 18a anterior view

unknown coral 19a

Here is a half-prepped trilobite found by “one of our eagled eyed SDGS members “it may be an Acaste downingiae or Acastocephala macrops but until it’s cleaned it we won’t be absolutely sure.

semi-prepped Trilobite

And here some other Trilobites found by the same person that are also a work in progress.

semi-prepped Trilobite 1

semi-prepped Trilobite 2

semi-prepped Trilobite 3

Here’s some more photos kindly sent in from another SDGS member who attended the day.







Bantycock opencast mine 20/09/2014 Field Trip Report.

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caloceras psiloceras 4 caloceras psiloceras 3

…As all those who attended set off from their homes driving through the morning drizzly weather (I know it was for me) members of the SGDS arrived at the designated spot to meet Andrew Swift.

Eight members in total parked up just at the entrance to the site and then car shared as we descended down into the quarry. This is where we met Jeff Torr the mine manager.

With Jeff and Andrew as our tour guides we then proceeded to look at various exposures of the quarry. For me personally it was an awe expiring experience, I’m no geologist but the information that Andrew relayed to the group was very precise and in layman’s terms.

As you can see from the photos some of the views are breath taking with a few photos off our finds.

We spent about 4 hours looking about the quarry with Jeff running a couple of members at a time in his Land Rover up to an archaeological dig that was going on nearby.

After our excursion around the quarry for lunch around 1.00pm we visited the Chequers Inn which had its own micro-brewery..! Of which was in the village of Elston. It was a very good value for money feed; we then took a short walk to Elston church to look at the Darwin family memorials. There are no Charles Darwin memorials, but lots to other members of his family, particularly his grandfather Erasmus Darwin, a brilliant man in his own right, born in Elston Hall, who published some of the first original thoughts about the theory of evolution.

All in all it was a fantastic day and I’m sure the thoughts of all those who attended are thinking the same.

Hopefully we will be able to visit next year and access all levels and more bone beds.

Also sorry I forgot to mention: ‘a most important fossil discovery was made while we were at the pit. At this stage it must remain hush-hush, but Andrew will be preparing a paper for professional publication in the near future’.

Speak again soon.

caloceras psiloceras 2 caloceras psiloceras 1viewing Cocks gypsum seamcaloceras psiloceras 4 caloceras psiloceras 3 caloceras psiloceras 2 caloceras psiloceras 1 walking into the quarry view of North face o quarry pit view from the top of the quarry 2 view from the top of the quarry 1 vert upper quarry floor the quarry view from above The Quarry the quarry view from above 2 the quarry view from above 1 SDGS members looking through gypsum deposits Rhaetic bone bed quarry digger plesiosaur partial femur (4) plesiosaur partial femur (3) plesiosaur partial femur (2) plesiosaur partial femur (1) Pink gypsum 3 Pink gypsum 2 Pink gypsum 1 femur 5 exposure 10 exposure 9 exposure 8 exposure 7 exposure 6 exposure 5 exposure 4 exposure 3 exposure 2 exposure 1 entrance to Bantycock quarry entrance to Bantycock quarry 2 entrance to Bantycock quarry 1 echinoid spine Blue gypsum 1 bivales a view of the Mercia Mudstone Group bivales 1 plesiosaur partial femur (4) plesiosaur partial femur (3) plesiosaur partial femur (2) plesiosaur partial femur (1)walking into the quarry

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