British Fossils and the environment

Thank you for showing an interest in our products.  We want to be responsible suppliers as far as the environment and related issues are concerned, so here’s some information on the questions we are most commonly asked:

Are you using up valuable resources?

Our rock and mineral specimens, although attractive, are all ‘common’ and occur in essentially inexhaustible quantities (the Earth’s crust is, after all, entirely made up of rocks and minerals!)

What about rare specimens that should be in museums?

Each fossil that passes through our hands is inspected to see if it is of possible scientific importance (as opposed to being merely of gift/ ornamental/ educational value).  Any that might be rare or worthy of study are loaned or donated to reputable museums, and several have figured in scientific papers.

Does their extraction damage the countryside?

Our British material comes from three sources:

  1. Quarries that already exist for other purposes (e.g. roadstone)- obviously what we take is tiny fraction of their entire output
  2. From loose rocks on beaches (but not dug out of cliff-faces, etc).  These are specimens that if they weren’t collected, would eventually be destroyed by erosion.
  3. Most of our ammonite fossils are actually turned up by the plough in fields, and then collected by hand (with permission of the landowner).

What about the foreign goods?

Whenever we use a new foreign source of rocks or minerals we do our utmost to get a firm assurance from the suppliers that the mining operations are legal, not in environmentally sensitive areas, do not use exploitative (e.g. child) labour, etc.  Some of our largest UK customers, quite rightly, require this information before stocking our products.

Rocks and minerals also have much in their favour as gift products. They are educational and natural (but don’t contain parts from living things- eg wood or shell).  Any processes involved in their extraction or preparation are almost certainly less pollutive to the environment than the production of, for example, the paper and plastic that make up so much of gifts and their packaging. What’s more, they’re popular and sell well!  As a final point, if you have any environmental information about any of our products (especially the foreign ones) that we may not be aware of, please let us know and we’ll look into it carefully.

If you have any question regarding our environmental policy, please contact us at [email protected], making clear the subject is titled “Environmental Policy Enquiry” or similar.