The Norfolk coast has long been a popular destination for fossil hunters, and it is considered one of the best places to find mammoth bones in the whole of Europe. Yet the high numbers of fossil hunters digging up bones has begun to threaten the cliffs.
Visitors use spades to dig away at the base of the cliffs trying to find mammoth remains and other fossils in the sediment and loose rocks, and that damages the cliffs. Visitors are being asked to take care when on the hunt for fossils as their activities can speed up the cliff erosion.
Martin Warren, general secretary for The Geological Society of Norfolk suggested that people searching for fossils should use their eyes rather than large tools, as “using spades is not a productive way to find fossils.” He welcomed people to carry on their searching, but to be mindful of how they did it and the effect it could have.
The Norfolk coastline has been home to many important fossil finds, such as the West Runton Elephant found back in 1990, which had 85% of its skeleton completed. Finds like this are what bring the fossil hunters back year after year.
The east coast of Britain is an area constantly threatened by erosion, caused by the wind and North Sea battering the cliffs. Measures are in place to help protect the coastline, but nature can still take over.
The Norfolk coastline is a beautiful place to visit, and our coastal holiday parks are great to stay in and enjoy everything the county has to offer, from the sandy beaches to the stunning coastal walks and the Norfolk Broads.
We always want people to enjoy their stay at the Norfolk coast, but to always be considerate when out and about in nature.
Photo by: Helen Steed