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JohnBrewer

Quick trip to Wrens Nest, Dudley, West Midlands, UK

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JohnBrewer

Hi rock heads

 

Last weekend I was teaching in London which gave me the opportunity to break the journey up by stopping off 2/3 of the way home to Manchester at Wrens Nest. Wrens Nest is situated in Dudley, a town close to Birmingham in the West Midlands, UK. Wrens Nest is the best and productive Silurian site in the UK. 

 

Here's two maps of the location 

 

59b059299694b_01big-map.thumb.jpg.073d440de9678742c09f8bb267265c4b.jpg

59b0594796af0_02map-2.jpg.0480dc7bcfe55d601beb5244c353d34f.jpg

 

Not often you find a site of this size and quality bang in the middle of a large town! 

 

There are are three options for parking, the actual car park (which was locked as a UK public holiday. 

 

59b059fc0fbde_03car-park.thumb.jpg.32325ea577808c47112a814fbc048bec.jpg

 

Or The Caves pub next to Wrens Nest. Or the road. 

 

59b05a5f59073_04pub.thumb.jpg.aa5767ed3abf717d28905a45353ca345.jpg

 

After a two minute walk I was in the national park. No hammers are allowed or needed!

 

59b05b492b198_05Wrens-Nest.thumb.jpg.9392860977d99289ff9538b9422daed2.jpg

 

Here's the Silurian sea bed. It's cordoned off as there are regular rock slides revealing another layer of sea bed. Cool huh?

 

59b05bccb3deb_06silurian-sea.thumb.jpg.bf2e54b753262627df93e739dd663d7c.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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JohnBrewer

This is one of the scree slopes. In the past I've found solitary corrals here but as I had less than two hours hunting I didn't bother here.

 

59b05cc17691d_07scree.thumb.jpg.64239bb42198e82ec2a106be4f48625b.jpg

 

I decided to hunt near the Silurian sea beds. 

 

Finds!

 

Hash plates. 

 

59b05d225f3c7_08hash-1.thumb.jpg.d6408743870ba97ac4ebabb18b3ee0f0.jpg

 

59b05d61e077e_09hash-2.thumb.jpg.eb1b3a04e93809c6b3d5a6eaff8ef9e0.jpg

 

A chunk of sea bed

 

59b05ddb4020c_11sea.thumb.jpg.30ef16b5e28c1006a6b6295ec36f411c.jpg

 

 

 

 

10 hash-3.jpg

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FossilDAWG

I visited there quite a while ago (some time around 1994) while attending a conference in Birmingham.  Came back with an astonishing variety of brachiopods, corals, trilobite heads and tails and one almost complete Calymene blumenbachii (Dudley bug), etc.  All collected from the scree or loose on the outcrop.  That is an amazing site!  Of course it was even more amazing back in the 1800s and early 1900s when the mines were active and slabs of articulated crinoids, trilobites etc were being pulled out.

 

Don C

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JohnBrewer

Can you see me?

 

59b05e1fcd0ec_12can-you-see-me.thumb.jpg.30294426a2a9a88f0f2731f9cf3beb9b.jpg

 

Hehe, how about now?

 

59b05e65dc3af_13trilo-1.thumb.jpg.dfb4b79cc8e92c365fa4a1bfdea76cfe.jpg

 

Acaste sp. I expect @piranha will know when I've uncovered more. 

 Another view. Scale is cm and mm

 

59b05f137b479_14trilo-2.thumb.jpg.da329f529dbec09d45f453eb9a7da10f.jpg

 

Another on the same plate. Great lenses but not sure of the condition of this one as it's right on the edge of the matrix 

 

59b05f5e9b311_15trilo-peepers.thumb.jpg.3eb245438a1744e122cb6c4c159d1394.jpg

 

Another, possibility a Calymene blumenbachii or 'Dudley Bug' as they are know locally. 

 

59b060a27f866_16backside.thumb.jpg.22b260a1333bbf5ba2a2d84b9c69566f.jpg

 

 

 

 

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RJB

So you go teaching and still find tiime to go fossil hunting.  How nice.  Wish I had your job. :)  Nice photos too.

 

RB

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JohnBrewer

Another Acaste sp. possibly. 

 

59b06135ebce8_17trilo-3.thumb.jpg.dba8e0a0b54152ffee7134389b34a55d.jpg

 

Last but not least, bits and pieces.

 

59b0619998988_18bits-and-bobs.thumb.jpg.17503194d87ded3d7cb4f6ec8453264c.jpg

 

Hmm, I feel I maybe joining the blind trade again soon....

 

@Kane Kane for the close up images I used one of these attached to my iPhone 6 with an elastic band. Not too shabby eh?

 

IMG_6322.PNG.baad9dc53e8e732171f767e9755abc6f.PNG

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Kane
Just now, JohnBrewer said:

Another Acaste sp. possibly. 

 

59b06135ebce8_17trilo-3.thumb.jpg.dba8e0a0b54152ffee7134389b34a55d.jpg

 

Last but not least, bits and pieces.

 

59b0619998988_18bits-and-bobs.thumb.jpg.17503194d87ded3d7cb4f6ec8453264c.jpg

 

Hmm, I feel I maybe joining the blind trade again soon....

 

@Kane Kane for the close up images I used one of these attached to my iPhone 6 with an elastic band. Not too shabby eh?

 

IMG_6322.PNG.baad9dc53e8e732171f767e9755abc6f.PNG

Well played - and a pretty cracking trip, too! 

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JohnBrewer
26 minutes ago, FossilDAWG said:

I visited there quite a while ago (some time around 1994) while attending a conference in Birmingham.  Came back with an astonishing variety of brachiopods, corals, trilobite heads and tails and one almost complete Calymene blumenbachii (Dudley bug), etc.  All collected from the scree or loose on the outcrop.  That is an amazing site!  Of course it was even more amazing back in the 1800s and early 1900s when the mines were active and slabs of articulated crinoids, trilobites etc were being pulled out.

 

Don C

 

I forgot to put the crinoid in the tags! As you say Don, it's a fossil hunters paradise. You can't not find fossils here. It's a very peaceful place too with wonderful wildlife and good walks. 

 

17 minutes ago, RJB said:

So you go teaching and still find tiime to go fossil hunting.  How nice.  Wish I had your job. :)  Nice photos too.

 

RB

Haha, not sure you'd like thr teaching side of my job Ron. Not as nice as supping bourbon, eating steak and taters around a fire which I believe is your 'work' when not crabbing and prepping!

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JohnBrewer
11 minutes ago, Kane said:

Well played - and a pretty cracking trip, too! 

 

Thanks Kane. If you come over this is where I'd take you :)

Might have to give @Malcolmt a pm re the Acaste sp. ;)

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FossilDAWG
4 minutes ago, JohnBrewer said:

Haha, not sure you'd like thr teaching side of my job Ron. Not as nice as supping bourbon, eating steak and taters around a fire which I believe is your 'work' when not crabbing and prepping!

You forgot exploring sheds/garages/warehouses full of forgotten fossils.

 

Don

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JohnBrewer

Haha, indeed!

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RJB

Hey @JohnBrewer  Haha, not sure you'd like thr teaching side of my job Ron. Not as nice as supping bourbon, eating steak and taters around a fire which I believe is your 'work' when not crabbing and prepping!

  Yeah, im purty good at that.  :)

 

RB

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Malcolmt

Heaven... a fossil site with a pub next door ....... what more could you ask for............

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Monica

I love all of this paleozoic stuff...:drool:

 

Well done, John!

 

Monica

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Fossil-Hound

@JohnBrewer very neat finds and location. Well done sir.

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thelivingdead531

Very nice finds! I may have to add this place to my growing list of sites to visit. Thanks for sharing. 

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JohnBrewer

Thanks Malcolm, Monica, Fossil-Hound and Candace.

 

@thelivingdead531 Happy to meet up there Candace. You could get a train and I could pick you up. Driving would be a trek. I know Nick @Barerootbonsai is interested in going to this site too. 

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thelivingdead531

@JohnBrewer I would love to accompany you at this site. Do you know the closest rail station? I don't mind driving, but I may still need to be met at a general location as I get lost easily lol. If you all have a date in mind please let me know.

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JohnBrewer

@thelivingdead531 Candace, Dudley rail station is https://www.londonmidland.com/destinations-and-offers/station-information/stations/dudley-port

 

You would need to change at Birmingham New Street. I doubt I could pick up from Birmingham as the station is bang in the middle of Birmingham which is the second biggest city. I suspect a drive for you might be a bit of a trek from where you are (certainly for a days hunt) but I don't know as it's not a journey I've done. The advantage of driving of course is carrying your loot home easily but the fossils there are all small. However a couple of nice hash plates (and they're the best I've ever seen anywhere) and a good chunk of sea bed will add some weight....

 

Im pretty flexible on dates. I'd prefer weekdays but weekends are fine too. Nick @Barerootbonsai works shifts as a firefighter and he'd kill me if he wasn't along. Besides he's a big strong fella so he can carry our spoils to the car(s) :D 

 

If if anyone else is interested please PM me and we can arrange a mutually convenient date between us. 

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thelivingdead531

I just looked up train tickets, and holy batman, I would rather drive. I'll just bring a lot of coffee or energy drinks with me lol. I'm ok with either weekdays or weekends, as long as I can notify work and possibly get a babysitter. 

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Ludwigia

Hey John. Looks like a great site. So many trilos in such a short time, and that in a place that's been picked over for hundreds of years! And really nice of you to share the information and act as a tour guide!

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Jambo1984

I've just started collecting and live 5 minutes from the wrens nest site is this place that good??

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jewelonly

Enjoyed seeing your trip report to this famous locality, John! :) 

 

Leah

 

 

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Taogan

I remember that there were always plenty of buses going there. no need for cars, you aren't allowed to take equipment onto the site anyway so you can travel light. I used to go there a lot when I lived in the Midlands I just took an empty bag with me. I also remember the kids from the council estate next to it were infamous for taking pot shots at collectors with low power air pistols. 

Just noticed you said the fossil wall was cordoned off, pity you can't get near it any more. I was having my lunch at the bottom of that when a chunk of sea bed the size of a paving slab broke off and slid down. Almost broke my shoulder catching it and almost got a hernia carrying it home:ighappy:

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jewelonly
19 minutes ago, Taogan said:

I remember that there were always plenty of buses going there. no need for cars, you aren't allowed to take equipment onto the site anyway so you can travel light. I used to go there a lot when I lived in the Midlands I just took an empty bag with me. I also remember the kids from the council estate next to it were infamous for taking pot shots at collectors with low power air pistols. 

Just noticed you said the fossil wall was cordoned off, pity you can't get near it any more. I was having my lunch at the bottom of that when a chunk of sea bed the size of a paving slab broke off and slid down. Almost broke my shoulder catching it and almost got a hernia carrying it home:ighappy:

Talk about serendipitous luck, @Taogan! Only true rockhounds could understand one struggling home, carrying the weight of a rock and a smile, no doubt, with an injured shoulder! :) 

 

Leah

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