Managing palaeontological heritage: a brief overview of policy and practice in England


Fossil collecting for scientific and educational reasons, as well as to support natural curiosity, has taken place in England since at least the late eighteenth century. It was not, however, until the late nineteenth, and particularly the mid-twentieth century, that site-based conservation of palaeontological heritage, and the management of collecting, was established. This paper provides a brief overview of the development of the policy and practice of palaeontological heritage management in England. It includes an outline of the establishment of national legislation, and a summary of the practical approaches to managing palaeontological sites and the collection of fossils that have been adopted. A number of examples are used to illustrate the application of this approach in different circumstances, including the coastal and quarrying environments.

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