Collecting fossils can be a rewarding pastime and a necessary component of research into our distant past. Fossils provide a record of the environment in which they once lived, the communities they formed, and the changes that occured over time.Careful recording (logging) through a geological succession can provide an indication of long-term climate change and evolutionary pressures.The collection of fossils needs to be undertaken with some care. There are legal and personal safety issues as well as the impact of overcollecting or damaging sensitive sites to consider.Various Codes of Practice exist to help guide the amateur and professional collector, landowners, retailers, museums and education establishments.
This webpage has only recently been added - its purpose is to provide links to various guidance. The page is likely to change and grow over the next few months. A long term aim is to produce a new updated policy for the Isle of Wight to replace that produced by the former Museum of Isle of Wight Geology.
The former Museum of Isle of Wight Geology, at Sandown, produced a paper booklet in 1995 titled 'Guidelines for Collecting Fossils on the Isle of Wight'. This booklet is out of print, and difficult to find. A copy has been scanned and can be downloaded by clicking on the pdf symbol. (File size 1.22 Mb).
The National Trust, as a significant landowner with responsibility for a large number of Sites of Special Scientific Interest with geological content, have produced their own guidance on protecting the geology and fossils on their sites. Click here for a link to their on-line guides.
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