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Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004

Part 4 – Scottish Fossil Code

Section 52 Scottish Fossil Code

424.Section 52 obliges SNH to prepare and issue a code setting out recommendations, advice and information relating to fossils. The Code is to be known as the Scottish Fossil Code and is intended, in particular, to provide guidance to both professionals and amateurs on good palaeontological and fossil collecting practice. The objective of the Code is to contribute to the protection of Scotland’s geological natural heritage, and to promote the scientific understanding of that natural heritage, by providing information on the avoidance of damage to important fossil deposits, whether as a consequence of activities on the site or as a result of the unregulated removal of specimens.

425.SNH is obliged to review and revise the Code as appropriate. SNH must consult with interested persons before drawing up the Code and before making any revisions to it. SNH has a further obligation to publish the Code using appropriate media and to promote awareness and understanding of the Code.

426.Formal legal protection for the most important fossil sites in Scotland is provided by means of the SSSI system and the provisions in Part 2 of the Act. It should also be borne in mind that the unauthorised removal of property belonging to another person, including items such as fossils which are found on that other person’s land, amounts to theft.

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Text created by the Scottish Executive department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills


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