Sunday, 21 August 2011

Told You So.........

I recently blogged about the possibility of setting up some form of judicial framework for the UK’s dwindling fossil  resources, something similar to the Paleontological Resources Preservation Act in the USA. The post met with mixed reaction, both here on the blog and also via personal communication. It has been very much a positive episode for me and appears to have at least made some people think and discuss the issue.

However, at the risk of saying “I told you so”, I recently received some correspondence which again bears out my belief that something will need to be done. Fossil hunter extraordinaire and all round   top man Cliff Nicklin ( a Quarry 4 & 5 colleague) recently took a family vacation on the south coast near Lyme Regis and Charmouth and, of course,  not only did he spend some quality time relaxing, but also did a little fossil hunting  – well you would wouldn’t you? But here is an excerpt from his recent correspondence:

It is becoming difficult to find anything, speaking to collectors, one has not been out for three months and another six months, and they are now waiting for the usual autumn/winter storms and, of course, land slides. Collecting has become an issue, as I lay on the beach (wife was with me), I noticed everyone walking past had a hammer.

I spoke to several party leaders regarding fossil trips and business is good at £5 per go, so we know why pickings are down………..”

So despite the fact that the Jurassic Coast is a UNESCO world heritage site and despite the recently launched self-imposed code of practice and everything that it represents, I suggest that my protestation that legal protection for the UK’s fossil resources is needed at some point in the future is wrong. It is needed NOW!


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