The Fossil Collecting Code
Kimmeridge Bay is owned by the Smedmore Estate and is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
As such, to protect and conserve the Bay and its fossils, as well as for health and safety due to the high risk of cliff falls, the hammering of the cliffs and the shale beds is strictly forbidden. Steve Etches is the only collector allowed to extract and collect fossils from Kimmeridge Bay and its locality, this is due to his level of experience in collecting fossils from the Kimmeridge Bay strata for the sole purpose of conserving them for the benefit of science and education, to be held in The Etches Collection museum.
You may collect any loose fossils from the foreshore, however - please ensure you abide by the DEFRA/JNCC “Fossil Collectors Code”. The document is viewable here. There are other localities where you may be able to use a hammer and chisel on loose rocks and nodules, however Kimmeridge is not one of them.
Please also see our educational film about safety on the shore and responsible collecting below.
If you have any queries at all on collection and conservation of fossils in Kimmeridge Bay, or if you think you have found something of significance, then please pop in to the Museum or give us a call on 01929 270000 and we would be more than happy to help clarify.