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. The fossil heritage exists in the natural environment, and is also preserved in museums and private collections. It comprises an irreplaceable and finite resource that has uses in science, education and recreation.
However, this element of Scotland’s Earth heritage is vulnerable to abuse and damage, sometimes by the thoughtlessness and over-collecting activities of some collectors. Therefore, Scotland’s fossil heritage requires a degree of safeguard and management to ensure its survival for future generations.
These pages provide an insight into the wealth, diversity and importance of Scotland’s fossil heritage, more information about the Scottish Fossil Code and the ‘Geological Fieldwork Code’ produced by the Geologists’ Association.
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This information and guidance was prepared by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).