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Introduction to Tarbat Ness

Fossils and Scottish Fossil Collecting in Tarbat Ness Your North Scotland Geological Guide and Geology Info.

At Tarbat Ness, the Devonian Rocks can contain small fish remains. Scales can be seen on ledges at the headland within a pebble bed. Larger fish fragments can also be found but are less common.

Tarbat Ness - North Scotland
Last updated: [22/11/05]  last visited 2005
Written by Alister and Alison Cruickshanks
Fossils & Scottish Fossil Collecting in Tarbat Ness Your North Scotland Geological Guide & Geology Info.
(Tarbat Ness) -

Tarbat Ness Location Information

This location has been classified as 'Low' because the fish remains are not that common and are often only small scales.

(Not Suitable for Familes)

Because of the rocky foreshore, this location is not suitable for a family day out, the low find frequency also makes this location one for the more serious hard-core collectors.

From the car park at the top of Tarbat Ness, access down to the shore is difficult. The path down to the beach is slippery and sleep.


The cliffs at here are Devonian, fish remainss are found within the ledges which dip from the cliff face.

SSSI, no hammers, no hammering

Please follow our national fossil collecting code

A UK Fossils & Discovering Fossils initiative (c) 2006


Common sense when collecting at all locations should be taken and knowledge of the tide times should always be noted.

The sea can come quite high at Tarbat Ness. Ensure you return well before high tide. The foreshore can be very slippery and rocky and the sea reaches the cliff at all times. Please wear suitable footwear.

Other Jurassic Coastal sites in Scotland

Within the local area, Achanarras and Thurso are very good location where complete fish can be found. At Spital Quarry, fish fragments and complete finds can also be made. Fish can also be found at Eathie , John o' Groats, Queensferry, North Berwick and Cromarty.

Some of the best fish come from County Durham. where a number of quarries yield some of the best specimens in the UK.

Fish Remains from the Devonian can also be found at Portishead in Avon.

Of course fossil fish can be found at many locations during many periods, such as fish from the Jurassic of Dorset, Cretaceous of Norfolk, Eocene of Essex, Pleistocene Crags of Suffolk, and the Triassic beds from Aust and Blue Ancher along with many others.

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.

Images, Graphics & Content
- (C)opyright 1998-2005 Alister Cruickshanks.
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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