The fossils of West Berkshire show us clearly that the countryside was once an ocean and, at another time, covered in forest. Sharks’ teeth are common fossils found in parts of the country that were once covered in sea. About 100 million years ago this part of England was a shallow but warm sea. The sea was home to huge numbers of tiny animals called coccolithophore who had a lot of calcium in their bodies. When these creatures died their bodies fell to the bottom of the sea and, over time, the calcium turned into a layer of chalk up to 900 metres deep. This forms the basic structure of the Berkshire and Hampshire Downs.
Place: West Berkshire