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A Jurassic ammonite from the north-east of Skye. © Colin MacFadyen/SNH

Fossil collecting on Skye

The Scottish Fossil Code, which encourages the responsible collection of fossils, applies equally to the rich fossil heritage of Skye.

The Scottish Fossil Code, which encourages the responsible collection of fossils, applies equally to the rich fossil heritage of Skye.  

Guidance specific to Skye is being revised at present to take into account the Nature Conservation Order, signed on the 1st of August 2019, which prohibits certain activities including damage to and the removal of vertebrate fossils in certain coastal areas.  

Until the guidance is available the advice is not to collect fossil material that could be vertebrate in character as doing so could constitute an offence.

Report a find

You can report your find to any one of the below. Arrangements may be made to record and/or retrieve the specimen if it’s particularly significant.

Scottish Natural Heritage
Email: [email protected]

Dugald Ross, Staffin Museum
Email: [email protected]

Neil Clark, The Hunterian
Email: [email protected]

Stephen Brusatte, School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh
Email:[email protected] 

Report an incident of irresponsible collecting

Report the incident as soon as possible if you suspect that irresponsible collecting is taking place. You could approach the persons involved to ask if they have permission to collect fossils – as long as this doesn’t put you at risk.

If you can do so without arousing suspicion, note down details of the:

  • exact location of the incident (e.g. grid reference)
  • registration number, make, model and colour of vehicles in the area

To report an incident, call Police Scotland on 101.

Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Report signs of irresponsible collecting

Freshly broken rock found next to a fossil location might be evidence that irresponsible and reckless collecting has taken place.

Take care not to disturb the scene, and report the location of the evidence to us as soon as you can. You should email: [email protected]​​​​​​​

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