Wrens Nest
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Wren's Nest in Dudley, to the west of Birmingham, is one of the most famous fossil collecting sites in the UK.  

The layers of Wenlock limestone, exposed here by the extensive quarrying of the Victorians, were laid down in a shallow warm tropical sea, during the Silurian period about 443 - 417 million years ago.  

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You would be lucky to find a trilobite, especially as the use of hammers is forbidden but there are plenty of fossilised shells and coral to be picked up.  The best spots for fossils are the reef mound:

reef_mound.jpg (6930 bytes)    wrens nest1b.jpg (273101 bytes)

And the fossil trench:

wrens nest8.jpg (229146 bytes)

On the slopes above the fossil trench you can look down on the ancient sea bed. Ripples in the sand are still visible.  The pale areas are where a sheet of limestone has recently slid off exposing the fresh rock beneath.

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Here are some Wren's Nest fossils, not found by me!

The Dudley bug, which is a trilobite, Calymene blumenbachii

 trilobite.jpg (43233 bytes)   

and a sea lily.

sea_lily_flat.jpg (5597 bytes)  

 

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Last modified: March 25, 2006