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The Scottish Fossil Code

Scotland has a remarkably rich geodiversity that spans nearly 3 billion years of Earth's history. Part of this 'Earth heritage' is the record of the development and evolution of life on Earth in the form of fossils. They are found amongst other places, in rivers and streams, coastal cliffs and quarries, and are also preserved in museums and private collections. It comprises an irreplaceable and finite resource that has uses in science, education and recreation. This element of Scotland's Earth heritage is vulnerable to abuse and damage and so needs safeguarding and management to ensure its survival for future generations.

The Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 included provision for Scottish Natural Heritage to prepare the Scottish Fossil Code. The Code, produced with assistance from paleontological researchers, land managers, collectors and others with an interest in Scotland's fossil heritage, provides advice on best practice in the collection, identification, conservation and storage of fossil specimens found in Scotland. The Code also aims to enhance public interest in the fossil heritage of Scotland and promote this resource for scientific, educational and recreational purposes.

Fossil collecting is an essential activity that provides the basic material and data for the science of palaeontology. New finds add to our record of past life and environments on planet Earth. Following the Code will increase the personal interest and satisfaction that can be gained from creating a fossil collection, and help conserve the fossil heritage of Scotland.

Scottish Fossil Code  PDF document

To receive a paper copy of the full Code please contact us on 01738 458530 or email us at 

Last updated on Friday 8th January 2016 at 14:43 PM. Click here to comment on this page