In 1983 Bill Walker, an amateur collector, found a new theropod dinosaur, Baryonyx walkeri, which proved to be crucial to the understanding of the spinosaurs, and on the Geologists' Association fieldtrip to the site in July 2001 a well-preserved partial skeleton of a juvenile Iguanodont (Mantellisaurus atherfieldensis) was discovered by Geoff Toye and subsequently excavated by the Natural History Museum.
Two Baryonyx teeth were also recovered from the Mantellisaurus excavation, suggesting that it may have been scavenged by Baryonyx. The site is also known for the early flowering plant Bevhalstia pebja (published in 1996) remains of which can still be found.
The concretions of sideritic ironstone and fine grained calcareous sandstone have also yielded numerous insect remains (13 orders) including many new species. Other finds include dinosaur footcasts, remains of pterosaur, fish, crocodile, crustaceans, molluscs and non-angiospermous plants (ferns and cycads, and a Sequoia-type cone).
A death-bed assemblage of teleost fish has also been found, which included the first articulated pycnodont fish from the Wealden. More recently a new species of spinicaudatan (clam shrimp) and three new groups of insects have been discovered (earwig, mayfly and 'stick insect') During 2016 a small claw, possibility Baryonyx, was recovered and during 2017, a tooth from a large unidentified theropod..
Pictures of some notable finds are shown below.
N.B. It is likely that parts of the pit will be flooded - please take care.
Sunday 8th April 2018
Sunday 9th September 2018
Meet at 10.30 a.m. in the car park at Smokejacks
Brickworks (Wienerberger Limited - Ewhurst
Smokejacks is just south of Walliswood (4 km southwest of Ockley), Surrey.
O.S. map 187 - 1:50,000 series
Grid reference TQ 116 373
Postcode RH5 5QH for those with SatNav.
The site is now fully fenced and will close at 4.30p.m.
Hard hats and reflective jackets are compulsory.
Eye protection, hammer, chisels, wrapping material for specimens,
handlens and boots suitable for claypit. Packed
lunch. Sun protection is advisable if it is a hot
day, plus sufficient drink.
All attendees must familiarise themselves with the Risk Assessment
for the site, circulated with these details. If you have not
seen a copy please contact Peter Austen (details
below). Copies will be available on site.
For a downloadable, PDF version of the Risk Assessment,
12 years and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
There will be a small charge for non-Kent Geologists'Group members
of £2 per person to cover administration.
Please contact Peter Austen at least ten days before the event, with
details of numbers attending.
Peter Austen on 01323 899237