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Bobo the bear
Been collecting fossils for over 50 years now on N Yorks coast. Can honestly say this, from the age of 7 years old, helped inspire me to become a scientist. I just hope the council don't try and take away this natural source of inspiration for our youth of today -and the future.
They cannot possibly know the exhilaration of finding something on a beach which no other human eye has ever seen before and saving it for posterity. I can only think that anyone with ANY scientific knowledge who supports the council in this cannot possibly be properly trained in a discipline and got their qualifications by mail order from some village chief in outer Mongolia.
I am certain you have countrywide support on this one guys.
Bobothebear
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Ambergem
Hey thanks for your support Bobo the bear. You made some great points especially that we should question the credentials of anyone who would support the council in this. There is at least 10 miles of cretaceous fossil coastline here. There is plenty to explore for everyone and we still have only explored a small part of it. Bring on the storms! 
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Ambergem
Hey Bb the Bear, RDC have stated to me in email that this proposal is definitely backed by academics. Some people will be wondering who are these people? Especially after being presented with all the facts and all the evidence that they would still want to back such a DRACONIAN law? Knowing that they themselves are responsible for overlooking Bexhill's coastline, some even going as far as stating in the past PRE DATING my discovery that the finds at this coastal locality are INSIGNIFICANT, to hear this coming from trained scientists was very uninspiring to say the least and nothing to help encourage discovery! I wanted to prove them wrong! My well tuned intuition was telling me otherwise, I had a gut feeling there is much to be discovered, that the academics were WRONG!

Academia IGNORING this man's LEGITIMATELY collected finds when being presented with them over so many years, what sort of decent person would want to back this and turn on this person for giving them so many golden opportunities over the years by inviting academics to work with him. The whole thing is a complete farce and it is personal. There is nothing to admire about them. Nothing that would make me want to offer my legitimate finds to ever again. You see this is turning out to be a completely counter productive exercise by a few callous individuals. It won't be I who looses out either, for I have a broad range of interests outside palaeontology and as previously stated, I have enough research material to keep me busy for many years to come. Science will loose out on other major new discoveries I have made over the years that I was willing to share with academia, but not anymore if this proposal goes through which is totally against the scientific professional collector. Who would want to work with the naysayers after being treated so badly? You would have to be pretty stupid to want to still share your legitimate finds with these narrow minded, bigoted people.
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Wealden coast fossils
Its obviously idiotic to propose and/or support any limitation of any responsible fossil collection. The Dead resurrected - the discovered fossils of ancient life are brought to life again by collection. Wherever they end up, they were dead and buried but now brought back to existence.

No intelligent argument can be made against this. Any such argument against would result in said left fossils destined for erosion (damage, less science value) and at worst, non-discovery.





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Olenus
Fossil collectors have been collecting down there for a few hundred years with no problems. What’s caused the council to act this way ? Something must of happened ? Has a site been damaged ? It’s very strange for this to happen!
The Ace of Spades,,,







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Ambergem
Have you been following the thread, Olenus? The reason for RDC's inappropriate (unlawful) action has been stated in this thread. 
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Olenus
Sorry but I can’t find it ? All I can find is irresponsible fossil collecting, but what does that mean ?
The Ace of Spades,,,







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Ambergem
That's the point! There is NO real reason for RDC's unlawful actions except a contempt for non PHD scientific collectors.
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Olenus
Something bad must have happened for Rother council to have reacted like this, and i can't see the answer in your thread. Someone needs to find the truth about what actually caused all this.
The Ace of Spades,,,







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Ambergem
It is mentioned in the thread. No, nothing bad has happened, only jealousy and contempt and prejudice on the part of a few. No one has done anything wrong, Olenus. Some grudge bearing person made some dumb FALSE accusations. This person has a motive and a vendetta. Rother simply believed this wicked person even when there was no evidence because this person, the instigator, made it all up!!! This person is unfamiliar with the locality. Fossils and footcasts are found loose at this locality.
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Olenus
I am finding it difficult to find the exact reason for the cause of all this in your thread, please can you give a short clear explanation as to what actually happened to cause this reaction by the council and academia
The Ace of Spades,,,







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Richard
Afraid I agree with Olenus. I cannot understand what has happened here.
Richard
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Wealden coast fossils

5 years fossil hunting......then a dinosaur brain endocast with macro preservation not seen before was discovered at night by torchlight and the Bexhill museum wished it was found by a tourist....cue another 12 years openly fossil hunting ........ paper published on endocast........cue ego's and push for pseudo laws

i will try and pick those 6 numbers this Saturday..good luck BM ltd


 


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Dirty Pete
My brain hurts, correct me if I'm wrong but is this the crux of this thread?

1: Originally nobody gives a crap about fossil hunting on the beach.
2: Man finds dinosaur brain on beach.
3: Dinosaur brain turns out to be unique and of national importance.
4: Local museum and council embark on various machinations in order to lay claim to brain and any further important future finds.

Cheers
Pete
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Ambergem
Spot on. That's about it in a nutshell, Dirty Pete. RDC tried to take the dinosaur brain off me but they did not succeed because they know I have perfect legitimate title, RDC backed down. Wrongly, RDC originally claimed it was theft. However, they have made no official apology, only verbal one at a meeting I had arranged, even this line had to be fed to them. We have asked for an apology in writing as per agreed at the meeting with Mrs Brenda Mason, RDC environmental officer, but we are still waiting. Rother's accusation of theft was unfounded, of course. It was proved nonsense. The fossil was collected loose as stated in the scientific paper - it was NOT extracted(!) as erroneously claimed by Rother....this is a complete distortion of the TRUTH! RDC Twisting the FACTS in order to achieve their goal of perverted justice!

The fact that this is a public beach, it's not trespass, there was no byelaw, no statute law in this country against fossil collecting, there were no guidelines, centuries of fossil collecting at this locality by both professional and amateur collectors and the FACT that I have been OPENLY, very PUBLICLY collecting at this locality for almost twenty years without as much as a soft nudge from RDC or ANYONE to gain my attention even after we initiated a couple of meetings in the beginning 18 years ago with the curator of Bexhill Museum Ltd, Mr Julian Porter, to show him our finds, there was NOTHING RDC could LEGALLY do about it except this very dodgy proposal which others should be able to see as an EXTREME, unjust act. RDC are only digging themselves deeper in it by taking this wrong approach. It will only add yet more weight to my case that RDC have acted immorally, and unlawfully.

We know some very embittered, jealous, out of control person, who were obviously not in control of their own emotions, initiated a smear campaign against me, a lifelong advocate of responsible collecting.
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Ambergem
This isn't intended as a bump. I have heavily revised an old post so much that it deserves status as new post and I think it important enough it deserves to be seen by as many forum members as possible. My apologies.

My hands are my tools as is reflected in my finds and the fact that fossils are found loose - ex-situ, known to science as 'float material', on the foreshore at this locality. There are no fossiliferous cliffs in Bexhill where we collect. As already explained by forum member 'Wealden Coast Fossils', it is a fluid environment down there, fossils are constantly being replenished by the action of strong tidal currents. There are offshore fossiliferous Wealden outcrops on the seabed owned by the Crown Estate below the mean LOW tidal zone, this is the main source of the 'float' fossil material. 


Even after being in possession of all the facts and understanding the relevance of what we all do and the importance of our collecting, each and every one of us, both amateur and professional collector, RDC and other opinionated opposers of the truth choose to remain IGNORANT of all the FACTS simply because it suits their own AGENDA. What does this tell us, the public, about RDC? It tells us that RDC are behaving irresponsibly by brushing aside important issues and aspects including:

- A history of long established relationships built up with museums between amateur fossil hunters and museums
- The scientific contribution made by both professional and amateur fossil hunters like myself - There is a symbiotic relationship between collectors and museums
- Collector's [human] rights
- Environmental beach conditions
- The status of loose fossils found on the beach - the murky issue of ownership of loose fossils. The fact the Crown estate has never requested for any collected British fossil off it's shores to be seized is hugely significant in this case, for it clearly shows that RDC has it's OWN agenda

According to RDC it's all black and white, they own the beach and everything on it including that seagull that landed on it....oh and you and me, anyone who steps foot on 'their' beaches they own YOU. Someone drops a piece of jewellery, a ring for instance; does this become RDC property?, of course not, it still belongs to the original owner who might be hoping it will turn up in the near future. A piece of meteorite lands on the beach; RDC property? No! It came from outer space, it belongs to the fortunate person who saw it land who picked it up and recognised it for what it was - even better if the finder, under no obligation, wanted to share their special find with scientists....how decent and honourable of them, it's all good, everyone is happy. RDC's position is seriously weakened by other similar arguments. None of RDC's arguments stand up to scrutiny. They claim that they own Every item on the beach, when in reality (under BRITISH LAW) there are different laws that pertain to different items washed up on the beach. Claiming every item on the beach including loose items as belonging to them is merely convenient in THIS case for them to get their VERY dodgy proposal through. No one is using JCB to excavate massive swaths of beach. Picking up the odd bit of loose natural washed up material with no proof of origin has been seen for centuries as perfectly acceptable, perfectly legal and good for all because we are together salvaging fossils. Collecting the odd specimen does no perceptible harm to the environment. Shingle is different. It has a purpose to protect the defences. The only thing that gets damaged here are prejudice, self important people's egos. They just wish to condemn a non PHD person simply for making a great discovery and they are jealous!

Here is an interesting scenario to think about. If someone were to be seriously injured by something that washed up on some council's beach like a piece of flying debris or something radioactive of unknown origin that washed up and the injured party intended to take out a serious lawsuit and sue the council. What would happen? Would the council be prosecuted? Would the council become so excited, so blinded when they learned of the claim by the injured party as for the council to lay claim to said item - imagine, council spokesperson: "oh yes that belongs to us because it was found on 'our' land and we accept all responsibility". Of course they would not. They would make damn sure they had nothing to do with it. Any council trying to defend itself under such circumstances would without hesitation claim total non responsibility for any loose DANGEROUS item/material of unknown origin that washed up on it's beaches....stating something along the lines of "oh but that doesn't belong to us, it's not ours, we are exonerated from all blame and responsibility". Point is that it suits RDC in the case of loose fossils that they wish to claim every item including 'float' fossil material, but British law sees things very differently.

I have already clearly demonstrated on this same thread how longshore drift affects even the heaviest of objects (rocks), and they can travel for miles and miles as is proved with the huge chalk nodules I come across all the time on Bexhill each! These items are of debatable council origin since several local authorities have chalk strata exposed on its foreshore. It is impossible to prove where they originated in the first place. The same applies here to Wealden fossils. There are vast offshore Wealden outcrops that form part of the seabed which is 'owned' by the Crown Estate with fossils being exposed
and washed in by the tide all the time. Unfortunately, for RDC none of these fossils have convenient labels with name of ownership attached to them. 

Leave humble, responsible fossil collectors like us alone to make our own momentous discoveries. 
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Ambergem
Just to let everyone know that RDC had their cabinet meeting yesterday on the six ASB proposals and we have been told that they have passed all six proposals including unauthorised collecting of fossils. 

Information page on RDC's website on the six PSPO's: http://www.rother.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=29919&p=0
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Richard
This document also says ......

 This control has been interpreted as an attempt by this Council to ban fossil hunting on its beaches and foreshore.  This is not the intention and it is intended that any Order would be used judiciously to prevent irresponsible or commercial collecting.  In May 2017 the Fossil Code of Conduct was approved by Council.  It is therefore proposed that the wording be: “No person shall remove or attempt to remove fossils from the beach or foreshore except loose fossils.”

I think we would all agree with 'irresponsible'. As for 'commercial' - how will they know the motive of a person removing fossils? I guess this would only become obvious if a fossil of importance was sold on the open market. Personally I think such fossils should not be sold but presented to a scientific organization e.g. museum. 
This is only my personal opinion - what do others think? 
Richard
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Ambergem
Thank you for your comments Richard. Indeed, as you can gather from my thread, we all agree that irresponsible collecting is not to be tolerated. However, there is zero evidence of irresponsible collecting at this locality. No reported incident in 200 years of collecting as far as I am aware, that's the point. RDC can't justify such action. Actually, it is unlawful what they have done. What do you think? If we didn't collect fossils when they are exposed, there would be no scientific specimens to study! I think we all appreciate this, don't we? Cooperation is the only way forward. There are those of us, including myself, who advocate responsible collecting. There are those of us on this forum, including myself, who have donated specimens to museums. We have made valuable contribution to science.

You can't backdate a law or a rule, Richard. Specimen in question, which I think you are alluding to, has been presented to science and all data successfully gathered. They said they had no problem, that they didn't need the specimen as long as I could confirm the whereabouts of it, they had no problem with publishing the paper and me keeping it. Those are the facts, Richard. To add, there has been no serious concerted effort by any academic to discuss securing the specimen for any museum. We had one meeting with an 'academic', but they were only playing silly mind games, this became more apparent as the meeting went on. They were never serious about acquiring the specimen. You wouldn't be aware of all the facts, Richard, because this part of the story is not common knowledge, and it is being suppressed by the instigators. However, I have have kept all correspondence, so I can prove these people are not playing fair by the rules of honour and decency. The truth is being suppressed, but not for much longer. Critics would be wise to familiarise themselves with the whole story before passing judgement.

RDC have yet to prove loose fossils belong to them, which we all know they can't otherwise they would have done so by now. It is disturbing that RDC believe that they can use a PSPO to control fossil collecting simply because they are being led by their own opinions. What they have done is in fact unlawful as it is difficult to envisage how collecting loose fossils would have a detrimental impact on the quality of life of those in the locality which a PSPO is supposed to be for, not for curtailing ones freedom to collect responsibly or because of certain individuals opinions - i.e. those ill informed people who seem to delight in damning anyone who has ever sold a fossil, including Victorian fossil collector Mary Annning, a person who sold many valuable scientific specimens to science, and other well known collectors alive today who make a legitimate living off their finds and who have made great contribution to science. It's just someone's opinion, it is not law. This is why a PSPO does not relate to fossil hunting. To donate or to keep or to sell? This is a matter of opinion, irrespective of an individuals point of view, I think most would agree, ultimately is a choice, it is up to the legitimate owner/finder how they dispose of a fossil. One can responsibly, ethically sell and still make valuable contribution to science.

Is there anyone who disagrees with the main points I have made in this post??
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Wealden coast fossils
Well said Ambergem.  

Its ludicrous. The sale of fossils has been part of Paelontology since the very beginning and a most important part. Just as those who focus and profit on the study and research side, there are those who do the collecting (and the research too). These people are entitled to keep, sell or a mixture of the two with whatever fossil they wish in this (!cough!) free country.

I can confidently say, in this locality, that, of the fossils my brother and i have collected in the last 20 years, at least 90% would either have never been found, or at best, found in a more eroded state.

Anyway, as Ambergem states, RDC cannot possibly claim said loose fossils were eroded out of ''their'' zone, as 'x' percentage roll in from the Crown beds. 
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