The Big Brigg GeoBlitz!

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1. The cliffs of Filey Brigg – a geological and ecological treasure trove!

Filey Brigg, on the North Yorkshire coast, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its Jurassic geology and its importance as a wintering habitat for small purple dinosaurs. It has much more to offer, though – something for almost every species of natural scientist, it transpires:

Like palaeontology? Filey Brigg has body and trace fossils!

2. Trace fossils are ace fossils, and Filey Brigg’s Thalassinoides burrows are up there with the very best.

Like sedimentology? Filey Brigg is both clastic and calcareous!

3. Upper Jurassic limestones, Filey Brigg, showing a karst surface.

Like glaciology? Just look at the till (photos 1 and 5), and the karst (photo 3, above), and the ice tectonics (photo 4, below)!

4. Folding in glacial deposits on top of Jurassic bedrock, Filey Brigg.

Like igneous and metamorphic rocks? Just feast your eyes on the erratics!

5. The pebbles of Filey Bay come from the Ice Age ‘boulder clay’ (till), and include rocks from Scandinavia!

Like storm-driven geomorphology? Behold the boulders!

6. Coastal boulder deposits on the north side of Filey Brigg.

Like intertidal ecology? Get peering into the rock pools!

7. Tiny rockpools in a larger rockpool, Filey Brigg.

For reasons I can’t fathom, these fantastic Filey features have been frequently overlooked. Many of them haven’t been studied recently; some of them haven’t been studied at all. Our new, citizen science project for 2022 – the Big Brigg GeoBlitz – aims to change all that!

Come along to one of our free, public events next year and we’ll teach you all about the Brigg, and how you can contribute to the project. We want as many people as possible to help us collect scientific information. We can then use it to better understand the Brigg, how it formed, how it functions, and what its future might hold.

It all starts in February 2022, so watch this space, and keep an eye on the #BigBriggGeoBlitz hashtag!


Earth scientist in North Yorkshire, fossilist on the Cote de Saur. Director of the Yorkshire Fossil Festival and palaeontologist for hire. Can be found twittering and facebooking as @fossiliam.