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Capel Green, fossils and fossil collecting

Capel Green is to the South of Butley, and to the West of Butley Abbey.
When driving from the north, the pit can be found along the road, just after the crossroads. You will see a signpost "Quarry Workings", with plenty of places to park nearby.
You can access the quarry from the roadside, the first face is visible from the road, but the second face is round the corner of the first. Both faces are full of shells.
The quarry is on the edge of Rendlesham Forest.

GRID REF: 52.09205°N, 1.45350°E

Molluscs, bone fragments
Fossil Collecting at Capel Green

This recently cleared pit at Capel Green provides an excellent opportunity to collect Red Crag Shells. It is next to the road, disused but has two large clear faces full of shells. In addition, shells can be collected from the quarry floor or nearby heap. Evidence of cross bedding is also clearly visible.
Where is it


You will certainly find a wide range of Red Crag shells at this site, and you are sure to come away with a nice collection. Bone fragments are however not so common from this site.

Not for Children


Quarries either working or disused are no places for children as they present many dangers.

Very good Access


Capel Green is easy to find, you can park opposite the disused quarry, and walk straight in. There is a slope that you need to descend but it is not too steep.

Disused Quarry


Fossils are found either on the quarry floor, in the cliff face or heap of shells. We recommend collecting from the floor since it is easier to find shells and much safer.

Possible Restrictions


Although this pit is disused, and along the roadside with easy access, restrictions may apply. If you enter this site, you do so at your own risk. For groups and societies, you should try to seek the owner of this site.

Although there are no major safety issues at this site, but please follow the country code. Please use common sense at all locations. Please be aware, the cliff could collapse at any moment, please do not dig into the cliff face.

Last updated:  2008
last visited:  2008
Written by:  Alister and Alison Cruickshanks

Other Locations similar

For other Red Crag locations, you should try, Neutral Farm Pit, Walton-on-Naze and Ramsholt as first locations of choice, with Bawdsey, Alderton and Wrabness as second choices.


If you enjoy collecting fossil shells, there are many other sites for collecting in Suffolk from other types of crag including the Norwich Crag, Coralline Crag and in Norfolk, the Wroxham Crag.

Location Photos
Red Crag at Capel Green

Fossil Collecting
Your Reports

Capel Green is rich in Red Crag shells, one of the most common finds is the bivalve Macoma, but gastropods are also very common here.

Shells are best collected from the quarry floor where the rain has washed them out and they are easier to see. You can also collect from the shell heap, which would make safer collecting, but the cliff faces also have rich shell beds. Be sure to take some paper to wrap your finds and containers to put them in.


Giant belemnite from the chalky Boulder Clay
Macoma sp. Shell from the Red Crag at Capel Green...[more]

Geology Guide
Pliocene, 2.5mya

The pit at Capel Green is of Pliocene age being the Red Crag. This crag is coarse-grained, poorly sorted with cross-bedded abundantly shelly sand. Cross bedding can be seen clearly in the first cliff face. There is also a thin layer of clay separating upper and lower shell beds at the second face. ...[more]

Red Crag shell beds with cross-bedding clearly visible.
Red Crag shell beds with cross-bedding clearly visible.

Stone Tumblers
Geological Supplies

If you are interested in fossil collecting, then you may also be interested in a stone tumbler (Lapidary). You can polish stones and rocks from the beach which will look fantastic polished using a stone tumbler.

You can polish rough rock and beach glass whilst collecting fossils, on those days where you come back empty handed. These are all high quality machines to give a professional finish to your samples. They can even be used for amber and fossils.

At most locations, you can find microfossils. You only need a small sample of the sand. You then need to wash it in water and sieve using a test sieve. Once the sand is processed, you can then view the contents using a microscope.

We have a wide range of microscopes for sale, you will need a Stereomicroscope for viewing microfossils. The best one we sell is the IMXZ, but a basic microscope will be fine. Once you have found microfossils, you will need to store these microfossils.

UKGE, the owners of UK Fossils, are your market leader for Geological Supplies and Geology Equipment. Suppling Retail, Education and Trade in the UK, Europe and beyond.

We sell a wide range of geological hammer and geological picks as well as fossil tools, starter packs and geological chisels.

UKGE is your geological superstore, selling a wide range of field equipment, rocks, minerals, fossils, geological and even microscopy!

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(C)opyright 2008 - UKGE Limited, UK Fossils Network and Deposits Magazine, all rights reserved.
While we (UKGE/UK Fossils) try to ensure that the content of this location guide is accurate and up to date, we cannot and do not guarantee this. Nor can we be held liable for any loss or injury caused by or to a person visiting this site. Remember: this is only a location guide and the responsibility remains with the person or persons making the visit for their own personal safety and the safety of their possessions. That is, any visit to this location is of a personal nature and has not been arranged or directly suggested by UK Fossils. In addition, we recommend visitors get their own personal insurance cover. Please also remember to check tide times and rights of way (where relevant), and to behave in a responsible and safe manner at all times (for example, by keeping away from cliff faces and mud).
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