Original article from Kent Live
Just a few metres away from Folkestone's popular seafront promenade lies a piece of land of genuine scientific interest.
Copt Point and its cliffs are home to thousands of ancient fossils.
And one of the most amazing things, at least for those of us who are not fossil experts, is how accessible they are.
Lying among rocks beneath cliff faces, any excursion of course comes with a warning about the terrain and the need to be careful.
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But for those who do feel safe enough to give it a go, it is literally a case of hopping over some railings at the end of the harbour area's long concrete walkway.
It seems the fossils themselves are not impossible to find either.
Both fossil websites and social media are full of examples of people of all ages and experience finding extraordinary pieces of history going back literally millions of years.
According to Discovery Fossils, the earliest rocks at Folkestone date from the Albian stage of the Early Cretaceous epoch, approximately 110 million years ago.
These sandy rocks, known as the Lower Greensand, are eroded from the fragile cliffs east of the town, where they form a rocky beach extending for one kilometre around the headland at Copt Point.
Overlying the Lower Greensand is the dark-grey coloured Gault clay, and it’s from this younger marine sediment that Folkestone apparently earns its reputation for fossils.
The Lower Greensand itself is said to contain mainly large, thick-shelled molluscs, robust enough to withstand the strong currents and disturbed waters associated with a near-shore environment.
The cliffs and foreshore east of the town are subjected to intense and sustained erosion from a number of forces, in particular the sea which breaks apart the fragile sandstone and clay.
This continuous process apparently reveals fossils in situ and among the foreshore boulders on a daily basis, especially following periods or stormy weather.
Fossils can be found throughout the Lower Greensand and Gault, although the latter is said to yield a far greater variety and volume of finds.
The location is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest, meaning visitors aren't allowed to dig directly into the cliff face.
But what they can do is park at a number of locations nearby – and grab an ice cream too.
To have a site so rich in science and history, so close to a busy and popular location, really does seem rather remarkable.
It surely represents one of the most convenient adventures our county has to offer.