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Natural England and the Jurassic Coast - Fossil Code for the Undercliffs National Nature Reserve

The Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, together with Natural England have proposals for a Fossil Code for the site at the Undercliffs National Nature Reserve in Dorset. Details of the proposals can be found on the Jurassic Coast website. The Geological Society submission can be found below:

Submitted 3 July 2015

  1. The Geological Society is the UK’s learned and professional body for geoscience, with more than 11,000 Fellows (members) worldwide. The Fellowship encompasses those working in industry, academia and government with a broad range of perspectives on policy-relevant science, and the Society is a leading communicator of this science to government bodies, those in education and non-technical audiences.
  2. We welcome and support the proposed Fossil Code for the Undercliffs National Nature Reserve. The described scheme is very pragmatic and tackles some important issues such as the ownership of fossils when found in loose blocks on the beach. The Geological Society is not best placed to comment on the detailed content of the consultation document but supports the scope and broad aims of the project. We welcome the work of the Jurassic Coast and Natural England to enhance protection of important fossil sites such as this one and this forms an important element of geoconservation work in the UK. 
  3. The Geological Society plays an active role in geoconservation through the work of its Geoconservation Committee. The Aims and Terms of Reference of the Committee are as follows:

The aim of the Geoconservation Committee is to help conserve the diverse geology and rich geological and geomorphological heritage of the United Kingdom, and to pass it in good order to future generations for their investigation, education and enjoyment.

Terms of Reference
  • To promote the conservation of important geological sites and access to them, both within the UK and (through partnerships) worldwide;
  • To work with others to promote the sustainable use and value of geological sites as resources for education, training, public enjoyment and especially further scientific research;
  • To support initiatives that promote geodiversity, and its importance alongside biodiversity in sustaining ecosystems and ecosystem services;
  • To ensure that the Society maintains a coherent policy for geoconservation in the light of national (UK and regional) and international developments;
  • To provide guidance on the integration and management of geoconservation activities within the Society;
  • To advise Council accordingly through the External Relations Committee.