Product has been added to the basket

Code of the Scots

A specimen of Diplacanthus crassisimus found at Hugh Miller’s collecting locality in Cromarty - used in a workshop held on the occasion of the launch of the Scottish Fossil Code for Cromarty Primary School pupils. Image copyright SNH.

The Scottish Fossil Code, first of its kind in the world, has been launched writes Colin MacFadyen

Geoscientist Online 20 May 2008

In Cromarty on 11 April 2008, on the eve of the Hugh Miller - ‘Local Hero’ event, the Scottish Fossil Code was launched by Michael Russell, the Scottish Government Environment Minister.

Probably the first national code of its kind, the Scottish Fossil Code aims primarily to help conserve the fossil heritage of Scotland. The Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 included provision for Scottish Natural Heritage to prepare the Code. Produced with assistance from palaeontological researchers, land managers, collectors and others with an interest in Scotland’s fossil heritage, the Code 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. It is hoped that following the Code will increase the personal interest and satisfaction that can be gained from forming a fossil collection.

Logo The essentials of the Scottish Fossil Code:

  • Seek permission - You are acting within the law if you obtain permission to extract, collect and retain fossils.
  • Access responsibly - Consult the Scottish Outdoor Access Code prior to accessing land. Be aware that there are restrictions on access and collecting at some locations protected by statute.
  • Collect responsibly - Exercise restraint in the amount collected and the equipment used. Be careful not to damage fossils and the fossil resource. Record details of both the location and the rocks from which fossils are collected.
  • Seek advice - If you find an exceptional or unusual fossil do not try to extract it; but seek advice from an expert. Also seek help to identify fossils or dispose of an old collection.
  • Label and look after - Collected specimens should be labelled and taken good care of.
  • Donate - If you are considering donating a fossil or collection choose an Accredited museum, or one local to the collection area.

The Code may be viewed and downloaded from Alternatively, to receive a paper copy contact:  Scottish Natural Heritage, Publications Department, Battleby, Redgorton, Perth PH1 3EW.  T: 01738 444177. E: [email protected].