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Introduction to Hope

Hope Fossils and Fossil Collecting
Your Shropshire Geological Guide and Geology Info

Fossils can be found in shales which outcrop in the stream banks of the Hope Valley stream near the nature reserve. Finds are few and far between but occasionally a nice, whole trilobite may be collected.

Hope - Shropshire
Last updated: [04/06/07]  last visited 2007
Written by Alister and Alison Cruickshanks

(Hope, 2007)

Location Information

At Hope, most of the outcroppings of shale are too weathered to yield recognisable fossils and fallen blocks are quickly broken up by the action of the water in the stream. Where the occasional, complete shale block is found on the stream bank, a trilobite fossil may sometimes be revealed on splitting the rock. There are a few outcrops of in situ, less weathered shale, but these are small and sensitive to over collecting.

(Suitable for Older Children)

Although Hope is a stream section, there are many places where the water is shallow and the stream bed relatively flat. To reach the shale outcrops a walk of less than 50 meters from the car park is required. To collect, the stream must be entered, so suitable footwear and clothing are necessary.


There is a public car park at the Hope Valley Nature Reserve which will accommodate numerous cars. The area of collecting is within a very short walk from the parking.


Fossils at Hope are found in shale blocks that have fallen from the stream banks. There are not many of these however and the few outcroppings of fairly solid shale could quickly become depleted if collecting is carried out in a selfish manner.


Public access, no restrictions.

The collecting area is just outside of the nature reserve boundary. Areas further downstream are within the boundary, so it is important to consult the information board in the car park to make sure that you are not collecting from outcrops that you shouldn’t be.

Please follow our national fossil collecting code

A UK Fossils & Discovering Fossils initiative (c) 2006

Other Locations similar to Hope

If you enjoy this kind of location you could also try 'The Onny Trail', Stockdale Beck or ''Upper Millichope'. Both of these locations are in Shropshire and will require a fair walk. Both are stream-based locations. You could also try Coniston or 'Stair Stream' both of these are in the Lake district.

For trilobites, further locations in Shropshire are Vinnels, Mortimer Forest, Hillend, Wenlock Quarry, Betton Dingle, Upper Millichope and The Onny Trail. In South West Wales, you can also find Silurian Trilobites from Marloes Sands and Abereiddy

If you like Graptolites, you could also try Stockdale Beck, Stockdale Quarry, Barrow, Causey Pike, Clints Quarry, Coniston, High Fell, Stair Stream, in Cumbria, Abereiddy, Fishguard, Little Haven, Druidston Haven, Porthgain, in Wales, Betton Dingle, Hillend, Hodgson How, Hope, The Onny Trail, Vinnels, in Shropshire.

Collecting fossils from the fallen shale blocks at Hope


Within the Hope Valley it is hard to get a mobile phone signal, so it is especially important that someone knows where you are and what time you expect to be back from your collecting trip. In a few places the stream flows quickly and in other places it can be quite deep, especially after rainfall. Only enter areas that you are confident do not pose a threat.

Hope Trilobite under x10 magnification - Placoparia cambriensis

Stone Tumblers are used for tumbling and polishing rough rock, stones and pebbles including those found on the beach and glass.

Whilst collecting fossils, on those days where you come back empty handed, you could collect rocks, stones and glass from the beach and tumble then at home.

These are all high quality machines to give a professional finish to your samples. The tumblers can be used with a variety of grits, most commonly Silicon Carbide Grit and Cerium Oxide. We have a wide range of rough rocks for sale too.

Microfossils are much easier to collect because they are so small that the vast majority of collections only concentrate on large finds. These small finds can simply be found by taking small samples of sands, crags, clays and soft rocks and examining them under a microscope.

We have a wide range of microscopes for sale, both for the study of fossils, but also educational and professional for use in the laboratory. We have Stereo microscopes, Compound Microscopes, Polarising Microscopes and Monocular Microscopes.

We have thousands of Test Sieves for Particle Analysis.

Endecotts Sieves: For accurate dependable results you can't buy a better test sieve than Endecotts. At every stage of manufacture each test sieve is individually inspected.

High Precision Tecan manufactures precision apertures as small as 3 microns for a wide array of applications such as filtering, sieving and nozzles. Its high-performance, ASTM/ISO compliant test sieves satisfy the most demanding fine particle grading requirements.

Why not try...

Looking for more good fossil hunting trips? Why not try the following locations which are all very good for finding fossils...

Whitby, Bracklesham, Kettleness, Eastbourne, Hastings, Hope, Staithes
Quantoxhead, Fishguard, Abereiddy, Whitehaven, Aust, Hunstanton,

Images, Graphics & Content - (C)opyright 2007 - Joe Shimmin
UK Fossils Management - Alister Cruickshanks & Roy Bullard
UK Fossils Curator - Ian Cruickshanks
UK Fossils is a division of CWA Design and run in conjunction with UKGE. Whilst we try to ensure that all content is accurate and up to date we cannot guarantee this. UK Fossils takes no responsibility in the accuracy of this content, nor takes any liabilities for any trips, events or exchanges between visitors using either the discussion board or the UK Fossils planner. Any posted trips and events by UK Fossils are personal and not arranged by UK Fossils, therefore visitors should seek their own personal insurance cover. Please remember to always check the tide times.
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