‘Irresponsible’ fossil-hunters on Rother’s beaches are being targeted as the council seeks to make clear its right to any finds.
Rother District Council’s cabinet will discuss the proposed fossil hunting code of conduct at its meeting on Monday (March 8).
“The need for a code of conduct has arisen following incidents of commercial and irresponsible fossil collecting creating damage to the beach environment and constituting a loss of important heritage material,” the officer’s report says.
The code was drawn up by Bexhill Museum with help from police’s heritage protection office, university academics and other local authorities faced with similar challenges.
In the code, it states the district council has a legal title to any fossils found on its land, including the beach from Norman’s Bay to Galley Hill.
This includes beaches it leases such as Fairlight, Pett Level, Winchelsea Beach, Rye Harbour and Camber Sands.
“Rother District Council supports responsible collecting; encouraging people who wish to find and keep small numbers of fossils from the beach,” the report adds.
“Rother District Council discourages irresponsible collecting, the collecting of fossils for commercial sale, systematically stripping the beach of fossil material, damaging or diminishing the natural heritage of the area.”
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