Report by Chris Cole

Selsey West Beach 21st – 23rd February 2012, low tides late afternoon

Fossil hunting along this stretch of coast has been quite lean for a while now due mainly to unfavourable beach conditions, (sand covering the beds), suitable tides (access), sea level rise, weather and sea defence works.

The sea defence works relate to a project of a "Managed Retreat" hopefully to avoid long term uncontrolled flooding caused by coastal erosion and sea level rise. Unfortunately, this project does conflict with the geology of the immediate area despite being classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

A small patch of the Selsey Division (S7i and S7ii) has appeared in front of some sea defence work being carried out along the Medmerry section of the beach. This area of beach is only accessible on some spring tides and if the SW wind is not too strong. In the last few days, the spring tides coincided with some daylight and moderate weather conditions. The area uncovered was about the size of 2 football fields.

I spent about 4 hours over a 3 day period (21st -23rd Feb), assessing the exposure and collecting fossils. (Some in situ and some washed out). I have attached photo’s of the site and some of the better specimens collected.

Any suggestions for the ID of the long bone included with the Turtle fragments photo would be welcome.

A selection of sharks teeth found

A selection of molluscs and gastropods found

Cheloniid Turtle fragments and bone.

Jaekelotodus Trigonalis specimen

Striatolamia Macrota specimen

Physolgaleus Secundus specimens

Environment Agency contractor moving the rock recently deposited on the Medmerry Beach

Location of my recent finds on Medmerry Beach.