Young fossil hunter is allowed to keep his ‘mammoth tusk’

Archie with the mystery object SUS-170313-171640001
Archie with the mystery object SUS-170313-171640001

A young boy who found what could be an 11,000-year-old mammoth tusk on a Bexhill beach, has been told by the council that he can keep his historical find.

Archie Wood, 12, was metal detecting with his father when he spotted the strange item sticking out of the sand.

Could it be a mammoth tusk? SUS-170313-171716001

Could it be a mammoth tusk? SUS-170313-171716001

Archie, who lives in Eastbourne, got a metal detector as a present for Christmas and he has always been fascinated by fossil hunting and making discoveries.

But there had been doubts as to whether Archie could keep his tusk after Rother District Council approved a new code on Monday (March 13) aimed at targeting fossil collectors on the council’s beaches.

The new code makes clear RDC’s rights to any finds.

But despite the new rules, the local authority says Archie will be able to keep his prized find.

A Rother District Council spokesman said: “Our new fossil code of conduct is aimed at encouraging responsible fossil collecting while protecting our beaches from the kind of commercial or irresponsible collecting which may damage the environment.

“We encourage people, especially youngsters, to look for fossils on the beach as it is educational and inspires an understanding and appreciation of the natural world.

“We congratulate Archie on his find and would encourage him to speak to our colleagues Bexhill Museum to see if they can throw any more light on what it might be and how old it is.”

The code states the district council has a legal title to any fossils found on its land, including the beach from Normans Bay to Galley Hill.

This includes beaches it leases such as Fairlight, Pett Level, Winchelsea Beach, Rye Harbour and Camber Sands.

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