Fossil collector unveils huge ammonite find after two years of preparation

CHARMOUTH fossil collector Chris Moore with his impressive bed of ammonites, which has taken two years to prepare (photo by Richard Austin)

LOCAL fossil collector Chris Moore has recently unveiled one of his most significant finds, thought to be the finest block of ammonites ever discovered along the Jurassic Coast.

Mr Moore found the large limestone boulder containing the ammonites following a cliff fall on Monmouth Beach, in Lyme Regis, two years ago but has only just unveiled the finished product.

The boulder was so big that it had to be split into several pieces on the beach and then put back together.

It then took about 600 hours to prepare, with specialist Nic Reast from the Midlands carrying out a large amount of the work, gently chipping away at the limestone to reveal how the impressive ammonites, along with a scattered ichthyosaur carcass, rested on the bottom of the sea 200 million years ago.

Chris, who moved to the area from Manchester 40 years ago and has been fossil hunting ever since, lives in Charmouth where he runs the workshop Forge Fossils. His son Alex, from Uplyme, has also worked on this and several other projects with him.

The bed of ammonites is now on display at Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre for the forseeable future, but Chris hopes for it to eventually go on permanent display at a museum.

If you’re hoping to find your own piece of the Jurassic Coast in the Lyme Regis or Charmouth area, you should always follow the Fossil Collecting Code of Conduct, which advises that the best place to find fossils is on the beach and not on the cliff face.

The code advises fossil hunters to be aware of the tides, stay away from the cliffs, never hammer the cliffs, watch out for mudflows, wear goggles and use geological hammers.

The code also offers advice and outlines restrictions for professional and experienced collectors, and how to properly record any significant finds.

For further advice or to read the code in full visit the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre website charmouth.org/chcc

Woodmead Halls
About Francesca Evans 1542 Articles
Francesca grew up in Lyme Regis and has worked in community journalism in the area since 2011, having gained a First Class Honours degree in journalism and her NCTJ qualifications at Southampton Solent University.

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