Yesterday we made a trip over to the Warren just north of Folkestone in a quest to hunt for ancient cephalopods that are to be found in the Gault Clay. These clays are 113-97.5 million years old and date to the Albian period of the Lower Cretaceous when this part of Kent (and much of Northern France) lay under a shallow warm sea. They lie on top of Lower Greensand exposed to the south of the site at Folkestone itself and below the famous chalk cliffs that are exposed across the Kent coast, most famously at Dover. All three deposits contain ammonites though the preservation is by far the best in the clay. To my shame I have not been there for over 18 months despite the site being just seven miles away but thought it would be worth a look after the winter rains. As you can see from the photographs, yesterday was pretty grey and murky and there was quite a wind blowing causing a choppy sea. Still, as the tide was in retreat we thought we would venture out and have a look. Luckily we both found something that made us glad we went. The clay cliffs that dip onto the beach and are extremely fossiliferous, and I believe that the site is designated a site of special scientific interest making it illegal to excavate the clay itself. (Please note this if anyone intends going). Nonetheless, it is perfectly legal to collect fossils from the beach itself and this tends to be more productive than looking at the cliff itself. In fact, bivalves, fragments of ammonites and belemnite guards are so common that one only tends to collect them if they are exceptionally good quality; these days I leave 9/10 fossils on the beach! The beach itself is littered with remains in between the boulders and mixed up amongst clay outwash and shingle. Here are a few photographs of the site itself and some of the fossils we found. The first three are to give an impression of the setting. The first view is northwards towards Dover and one can see the start of the chalk cliffs. The other shots are of the beach and the third picture of the Gault clay cliff itself. Folkestone Warren looking North towards Dover. The sea is the English Channel; France lies approximately 30 miles away at this point. The beach. The Gault clay is visible in the cliffs on the left. Fossils tend to be washed by rain and coastal action into the shingle in between the boulders visible on the beach.