Fossil code protects Rother's heritage

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Fossil code protects Rother's heritage

Fossil collectors are being urged to carry out their hobby responsibly under new guidelines for beaches in Rother.

Rother District Council's Fossil Collection Code of Conduct aims to give greater protection to the area's palaeontological heritage and provide clarification on the status of beach finds.

It is aimed at encouraging people to collect fossils responsibly, record and report fossil finds and avoid damaging the environment.

The document was drawn up by Julian Porter, Rother district curator, with assistance from PCSO Daryl Holter, Sussex Police heritage crime officer.

Mr Porter said: "Looking for fossils on the beach is something we encourage, particularly for children, as it inspires understanding, interest and appreciation of the natural world.

"Protecting our past is essential - being able to study artefacts allows them to be understood, interpreted and displayed, which ultimately gives us a greater insight into our past."

PCSO Holter said: "The code is not about spoiling people's fun but advising them on how to collect responsibly so we can ensure the environment is protected and important finds catalogued and recorded."

Fossil hunters are advised to only collect loose-lying fossils, collecting only a few representative specimens, to avoid digging into the cliff face or rocky ledges and not to disturb wildlife.

Any significant finds should be reported to Bexhill Museum so they can be preserved for future generations.

Serious breaches of the code, such as large-scale or commercial fossil collecting or damage to the environment, can be dealt with by the police or the district council as appropriate.

Anyone who finds a fossil is asked to report it by calling in to Bexhill Museum, in Egerton Road, or by calling the museum on 01424 222058 or emailing enquiries@bexhillmuseum.co.uk

The code of conduct can be viewed online at www.rother.gov.uk/fossils

Published on Thursday, September 14 2017

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