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New Forest - Geology and Fossils

By James Barnet

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ISBN: 9781785008160
PUBLISHED: 22/01/2021
PAGES: 178
BINDING: Paperback
SIZE: 235x165 mm
INSIDE: 198 colour photographs, diagrams & charts

This book is intended to be the most complete and up-to-date guide to the geology and fossils of the New Forest, providing a wealth of information of interest to both the amateur fossil collector and the professional geologist. With some 200 field photographs, palaeogeographic maps, digitised borehole/outcrop logs, and geological cross sections this book includes:


  • A tour of the regional geological evolution of southern England since the Permian Period (-280 million years ago), based on deep boreholes and coastal exposures, including the world-famous Jurassic coast of Dorset and east Devon
  • A discussion of the petroleum geology of southern England and the New Forest
  • A detailed overview of the stratigraphy of the Hampshire Basin, followed by related aspects of economic geology within this area, including ironstones, freshwater aquifers, geothermal energy, sand, clay and peat resources
  • An up-to-date and complete account of the principal fossil localities, together with a comprehensive gallery of photographs with accompanying descriptions of the most abundant fossils within the New Forest National Park

RRP: £16.99

Site Price: £13.59

E-Book Edition: £12.99 (incl. VAT)


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Latest Reviews
" This is a very useful book about the geology of the New Forest and adjacent areas. "
Review Type: Press
Reviewed By: Down to Earth magazine

" I bought this book because it is on the New Forest and I live in East Dorset. I am not a geologist though I find geology fascinating. The first chapter on the geological history of the New Forest, which in fact covers much of the surrounding areas of Dorset, Hampshire coast, Isle of Wight etc, is very interesting and the maps of the basins and land etc as the palaeogeography changed are really helpful. The petroleum geology is also interesting as I live opposite the nodding donkey in Kimmeridge. Chapter Three on the Palaeogene stratigraphy was a struggle for me though when I realised the descriptions and columns could be cross-related to the maps of the area during the time each layer was deposited, it began to make more sense. I think the detail is more aimed at professionals or at least those more knowledgeable than I am, but it is always good to be challenged and learn more. There are some beautiful photographs of fossil exposures which are very clearly labelled and informative. The short chapter on the natural resources of the area is particularly interesting, even including a section on Geothermal Energy. Fossil hunting in the New Forest sounds challenging and difficult, and not something I’m likely to undertake, but it is interesting to read about. (To be fair, I have never been in any way a fossil hunter, and probably wouldn’t have tried anyway!) The final chapter has beautiful photographs of every fossil that can be found in the New Forest. I would definitely recommend the book to both specialists and lay people like myself, though parts, especially the chapter on the Palaeogene, go into detail that would probably be better understood by someone with more prior geological knowledge. "
Review Type: Customer
Posted By: Helen Earwicker

" This is a welcome addition for anyone wishing to examine non-Mesozoic exposures, other than the more obvious ones like Bracklesham Bay and Barton-on-Sea (also covered by the guide). And for that reason alone, I would recommend the book as a local guide to the Palaeogene of the UK. "
Review Type: Press
Reviewed By: Geology Book reviews

" There are lots of good UK guides like this one, to areas such as Dorset and Yorkshire, and many areas of Scotland and Wales, for example.. another excellent example of that genre. In fact, this is the book is the first I have seen on the New Forest of Hampshire. "
Review Type: Press
Reviewed By: Deposits Magazine

" Dr Barnet's guide is a handy and well written book that any geologist - professional or amateur - interested in Palaeogene life will find informative and of practical use. "
Review Type: Press
Reviewed By: Proceedings of the Open University Geological Society Volume 7 2021

" This is another fascinating, well-structured book, which I would recommend for professional and amateur geologists alike! It begins quite rightly with the geological history and fossils of the world-famous Jurassic Coast and uses this to introduce the less well-known New Forest geology and fossils (Chapter 1). As a Geologist, his descriptions of the stratigraphy (rock sequences) and well (or borehole) logs, as well as his photographs of key outcrops sections and depositional maps both superbly illustrates and guides one through the geological history of the New Forest area between the Permian and Pleistocene (Quaternary) Periods. In fact, although I have visited the New Forest a number of times, I was pleasantly surprised to learn many things about its Paleogene geology, its fossils and places to explore (Chapter 3). Well done! For the amateur geologist, this field guide provides a glossary and described photos (Chapter 7) at the back to supplement the excellent text, geological timescales (with key events) and depositional maps, which will allow you to access this rich resource. This guide includes a useful set of rules and advice for fossil hunting to follow as well as localities to visit when there is time following lockdown (Chapters 5 and 6). For example, look out for fossils of Nummulites (a single foraminifera cell with a disproportionately large calcite shell the size of a coin!), shark teeth and beautiful bivalves eroded from Paleocene and Eocene formations in and around the New Forest. These fossils should be just as acclaimed as those of the marine reptiles and ammonites that Mary Anning originally described at Lyme Regis. Of course, to fully understand the geology of the New Forest, one needs to appreciate the Petroleum Geology and other resources people have sought in the Wessex and Weald basins (of which the New Forest is a part). James describes this in an accessible and informative way not only in terms of its scientific/engineering ingenuity but also as an important part of the UK's industrial heritage (Chapter 2). He also includes Geothermal Energy amongst the natural resources in Chapter 4, which will become a more important resource as the UK tries to reduce its carbon dependency. I hope that others find this book just as interesting and informative as I have. "
Review Type: Customer
Posted By: Nick Harper

" A thoughtful, comprehensive and long overdue book covering the geology and fossils of the New Forest and surrounding area. The geological history of the Wessex, Weald and Hampshire basins is clearly laid out with clear descriptions and excellent accompanying reconstructed paleogeography maps. The relationship between the Cornubian, Armorican and adjacent massifs as sediment sources for basin infill is made simple to understand by both specialists and non-specialists alike. Highly recommended and should be considered the most definitive guide to New Forest geology currently available. "
Review Type: Customer
Posted By: John McCoubrey

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