ROGUE fossil hunters have been banned from digging on a stretch of the Jurassic Coast.

Landowners and council chiefs secured a court injunction to stop people hacking into the cliff-face amid fears they were causing rockfalls and endangering families on the beach.

The National Trust and Charmouth Parish Council sought the injunction banning Nigel Baldaro, from Crewkerne, from extracting fossils from cliffs at Charmouth after he was spotted repeatedly extracting large numbers of fossils by digging into the solid rock face.

A spokesman for the National Trust, which owns much of the land around Charmouth, said: “What he was doing was expressly against the wishes of the landowners and the guidance of the West Dorset fossil collecting code of conduct.

“His actions have also placed the public, including walkers and families, at risk from falling rocks.”

The Trust worked with the World Heritage Site team, Charmouth Parish Council and Natural England to secure the injunction.

The injunction, made at Taunton County Court, prohibits Baldaro, and others directed by him, from climbing the cliffs and removing fossils from the land owned by the National Trust and Charmouth Parish Council.

A second injunction against ‘persons unknown’ was also made by the court. This will be used by the National Trust and the council to prevent unidentified individuals from digging in situ and removing fossils without consent.

Helen Mann, the National Trust property manager in Dorset, said: “These injunctions are not about stopping people picking up the fossils on the beaches. We know thousands of families enjoy collecting fossils as a memento of their visit.

“This is about preventing inappropriate fossil collection which damages the coastline.”

Richard Edmonds, earth science manager at the Jurassic Coast team at Dorset County Council, said: “We are delighted with this injunction. This man and an accomplice were repeatedly told to stop doing what they were doing but ignored all requests. We have since had other people digging on the cliff face and we are now able to tell them to stop.

“However, we welcome people to collect fossils on the beach.”

For more information, visit