Geology: The geology here consists of the Lewes and Seaford Chalk, which are Cretaceous in age (85myrs old). At Birling Gap steps, the Seven Sisters Flint Band can be seen as a wave-cut platform. This can also be seen in the cliffs both to the east and west of the steps.
Echinoids, sponges, molluscs and fish remains can all be found. The geology here consists of the Lewes and Seaford Chalk, which are Cretaceous in age (85myrs old). At the steps, the Seven Sisters Flint Band can be seen as a wave-cut platform. This can also be seen in the cliffs both to the east and west of the steps. However, the shingle on the beach can make collecting difficult, but a short walk either to the east or west of the steps will provide better exposures of foreshore chalk and rocks to look through.
Sponges are fairly common here - from the Cuckmere Sponge Bed - which is just above the Seven Sisters Flint Band. Some wonderful specimens of the sponge Aptychus can be seen and, from the same horizon, opalised plant remains have sometimes been found. Echinoids are also common here (especially micrasters), which are mostly found in the rocks of the foreshore.
Equipment: Most of the fossils can be found on the foreshore without the need to break up rocks. However, a hammer and chisel are recommended to extract them.
Safety: Common sense when collecting at all locations should always be used and you should check tide times before going. Indeed, this site should only be visited on a falling tide, as the sea comes in quickly. Do not hammer into the cliff face as this can cause rocks to fall.
Further information: View public discussions and other people's finds, or add your own reports and photos by going to our Discussion Board. In Sussex and Kent, there are many excellent locations for collecting chalk fossils. Newhaven, Seaford, Seven Sisters, Eastbourne, Beachy Head , Peacehaven and Birling Gap, Dumpton, Kingsgate, Samphire Hoe, Pegwell Bay, Dover, St Margarets Bay. Read the excellent publications: The Chalk of Sussex and Kent and Fossils of the Chalk.