Yorkshire Coast Fossils

Sutures in a Jurassic ammonite fossil (cast) from Ravenscar, North Yorkshire.

What books should you buy if you’re interested in Yorkshire Coast fossils? Well, I recommend these ones:

The Geology of the Yorkshire Coast (Pete Rawson & John Wright) – Geologists Association field guide.

Trilobites, Dinosaurs & Mammoths (James McKay) – beautifully illustrated introduction to Britain’s prehistoric life.

Yorkshire Rock (Richard Bell) – another splendidly illustrated introduction, this time to the geology of Yorkshire.

The Missing Lynx (Ross Barnett) – lots of fascinating insights into Ice Age Britain.


The third class in Yorkshire Coast Fossils looks at the Cretaceous and Quaternary.

A website providing a nice introduction to the fossils of the East Yorkshire coast, and where to find them, can be found here.

Fossils of the Speeton Clay (Hull Geological Society)

Belemnites of the Speeton Clay (Northern Fells Science & Art)


The second class in Yorkshire Coast Fossils looks at the Middle and Upper Jurassic.

Hans Steur’s webpages on the Jurassic flora of North Yorkshire can be found here.

Mike Romano & Martin Whyte’s 2003 paper on the Jurassic dinosaur footprints of the Yorkshire Coast can be read here.

The 2018 paper by Sam Slater and colleagues on dinosaur-plant interactions in the Middle Jurassic of Yorkshire can be read here.

John Wright & Pete Rawson’s 2014 paper on the development of the Betton Farm coral bed can be downloaded here. There’s also a nice article here about exploring the Upper Jurassic localities of North Yorkshire by Prof Mark Wilson of Wooster College.


The slides for my first class of the Hidden Horizons course ‘Yorkshire Coast Fossils’ can be downloaded below:

The British Geological Survey‘s online Geology of Britain viewer is here, whilst the app can be downloaded here.

The Natural History Museum‘s Fossil Explorer app can be downloaded here.

The UK Fossils Network has a pretty good list of Yorkshire Coast locations where you can go fossil-hunting.

Read about Will Watts (founder of Hidden Horizons) taking Guardian writer Kevin Rushby fossil-hunting on the Yorkshire Coast in this article from 2017.

The Fossil Hunter

‘GEMS of North Yorkshire’ project launches in Scarborough

North Yorkshire’s rocks, fossils, and changing environments will be the stars of a newly formed science project based in Scarborough. ‘GEMS of North Yorkshire’ brings together the University of Hull’s Geology Hull and North Yorkshire Partnership Hub teams, and Scarborough-based education and outreach specialist, Hidden Horizons. The project will use school activities and public events to promote geological, environmental, and marine science (GEMS), with the aim of widening participation in these fields.

Dr Liam Herringshaw, Geology Hull lecturer, said “the ‘GEMS of North Yorkshire’ project offers a terrific opportunity to engage North Yorkshire schools and residents with the amazing landscapes on their doorstep. It’s really exciting to be working with Hidden Horizons and the University of Hull’s North Yorkshire Partnership Hub to deliver the activities.  We will also team up with Scarborough & North Yorkshire Children’s University to provide learning opportunities for primary-aged children.”

Starting in 2020, the project will offer a series of school activities and public events, delivered alongside educational web resources uncovering some of the GEMS of North Yorkshire.

For further details, contact Rich Adams (North Yorkshire Partnership Hub) on 01723 383884 (Twitter: @UniofHull_NYPH); Liam Herringshaw (Geology Hull) on 01482 465349 (Twitter: @GeologyHull), or Will Watts (Hidden Horizons) on 01723 817017 (Twitter: @H_Horizons).

About Geology Hull

Geology Hull is the geology teaching and research team in the Department of Geography, Geology and Environment at the University of Hull. We won the university Faculty of Science and Engineering’s Outstanding Team award in 2018, and our degree programmes were ranked 7th in the UK in the 2020 Guardian University Guide.

About the North Yorkshire Partnership Hub

The University of Hull’s North Yorkshire Partnership Hub is based in Scarborough. Our team is dedicated to building active partnerships to shape a brighter future for North Yorkshire. Our programmes in primary and secondary schools help to raise aspirations through our Scarborough & North Yorkshire Children’s University and the North Yorkshire Coast Higher Education Collaboration (NYCHEC). Our post-16 work helps to provide students with information, advice and guidance to help them make the best decisions for their future. Alongside a range of partners from business, the public and charity sectors, we’re helping our region fulfil its potential.

About Hidden Horizons

Established in 2013 by Will Watts, Hidden Horizons offer an exciting range of public and school events based on the outstanding geology and natural history of North Yorkshire. With sessions covering fossil hunting, stargazing, Forest School, Beach School, Bushcraft and more there really is something for everyone, with each session led by passionate experts in their field including three University of Hull graduates. In addition to the public and school sessions the company provides consultancy services to museums and heritage organisations including exhibition and interpretation support.  Hidden Horizons also operates a sister company, GeoEd Ltd, one of the world leaders in the creation of replica fossils for education and museum settings.