The UK's Nationwide Geology Club for Children

Fieldwork Code

Private land sign

The Rockwatch Fieldwork Code – to read before you go ‘rockhounding’.

  • Observe and record. Don’t hammer indiscriminately and remember you don’t always need to take a sample!
  • Keep collecting to a minimum – only remove fossils, rocks or minerals if they are genuinely needed for serious study.
  • Tell the local museum about your good finds, and remember to record the exact location of the find.
  • Never collect from walls or buildings – you could undermine the structure!
  • Remember the Country Code and observe local bylaws – shut gates and leave no litter.
  • Always seek permission before entering private land.
  • Don’t litter fields or roads with rock fragments- they could injure livestock or be a hazard to other people or vehicles.
  • Avoid disturbing plants or wildlife.
  • No one has the right to ‘dig out’ any site – that is, take everything!
  • Don’t disfigure rock surfaces with brightly painted numbers or symbols or a pattern of core holes!
  • Try to leave sites as you find them and back-fill where necessary.
  • Never go alone on a ‘rockhounding’ trip and always let someone know your plans and your expected time of return.
  • Always wear protective goggles when hammering and don’t hammer unnecessarily.
  • Make sure you don’t get cut off by the tides.
  • Don’t loosen rocks on steep slopes.
  • Don’t enter old mine workings or cave systems.
  • Don’t interfere with machinery in quarries.
  • And finally, enjoy your ‘rockhounding’ trips and make sure that you do so safely by observing the Rockwatch Fieldwork Code at all times.