WALKING With Dinosaurs has been a phenomenon of recent years.

So, unfortun­ately, has been walking on dinosaurs, to the detriment of Skye's archaeological and geological heritage.

The island has become a hugely ­popular area for paleontologists, but has also attracted some amateurs who are collecting fossils in a damaging way.

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Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) along with Highland Council, National Museums Scotland and the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow are hoping to enlist local support in the form of volunteer wardens to rescue, record and safeguard important fossils found on the island's beaches.

Following some exciting finds in recent decades, Skye earned the soubriquet of Scotland's "dinosaur isle", but publicity has attracted enthusiasts with a less than scientific approach to fossil hunting. While most follow the fossil code, some have not, inflicting damage that cannot be allowed to continue.

Some of these magnificent fossils have been around for 520 million years. It would be a shame to lose them in the relative blink of an eye.