A fossilised coral thought to be more than 300million years old has been found by a pair of paddleboarders while on a clean-up expedition on the River Ayr.

Charlotte and Neil, who go by the name of Rubbish Paddlers, came across the geological find while on one of their aquatic expeditions to clear the rivers and coasts of rubbish, and could not believe just how much history they were holding in their hands when they spotted the peculiar-looking rock.

While the couple have not yet officially confirmed what the fossil is or its provenance, Neil, who is a geologist, says it is likely to be more than 300million years old and deriving from the carboniferous period - meaning Scotland used to be near the equator with tropical beaches.

Cumnock Chronicle: Credit: Rubbish PaddlersCredit: Rubbish Paddlers

He explained: "It was a nice fossil to find in the river Ayr at the weekend. When it is wet the fossils shows up more - I think that's why it caught my eye as I slipped on it while carrying the paddleboard and rubbish!

"I think it is a rugose, solitary, or horned coral, now extinct, which lived in warm shallow seas when the land that is now Scotland was closer to the equator and had tropical environments. Possibly Carboniferous in age, over 300million years old.

"The source of this fossil is most likely from further upstream at Sorn or Muirkirk."

Last month, we told of how the Rubbish Paddlers have been taking to the water aboard a paddle board to collect litter and upcycling what they can in the process. Read more about their story here.


Great geological find! 🤓 Most likely a fossilised coral from the carboniferous period (it's over 300 million years...

Posted by Rubbish Paddlers on Tuesday, 11 May 2021