Fossil Hunting

As a former colliery, Betteshanger is bursting with fossils

Thanks to our heritage as a former colliery, the Betteshanger site is bursting with fossils. You’ll find plenty of fossils either lying on top of the spoil heap or by digging down into the spoil. You’ll most likely find plant remains and arthropod fragments, such as Calamites, Lepidodendron and Neuropteris.

We’ve set the bar pretty high for future fossil digs, one intrepid hunter was lucky enough to find the remains of a rare, large millipede-like, arthropod fossil. So now it’s over to you, we encourage you to discover your inner palaeontologist and start digging in the spoil - what will you find?

We work in partnership with Geoconservation Kent to maintain the fossil collecting areas within the Park. Regular fossil hunting days are organised throughout the year. Check out our events page for dates of the next ‘hunts’.

Fossil hunting days can also be arranged for schools and groups.

Tools, safety equipment and instruction are provided by local geologist, Andy Temple, member of The Geologists Association, Kent Geologists Group and Geoconservation Kent. Andy has over 25 years’ experience of educational outdoor activities in a variety of environments.

Betteshanger is a Regionally Important Geological Site (RIGS) and the scientific study of our rocks and fossils is important to the understanding of the changing climate and the habitat to be found in Kent during the Carboniferous period. Our fossils show that there were areas of forest and river levees, with overbank deposition taking place. The rocks here are Upper Carboniferous (Pennsylvanian) series, from the mid Moscovian Age – about 312 million years old, to the top of the Kasmovian Age at 303.7 million years ago.