Fossil Boxes

Fossil Box

The Fossil Box Project

Creating boxes of fossils for primary and secondary schools in the UK

With 30 fossils in each box, it’s large enough for a typical class size

Each box contains two insert trays, which include:

  • 12 fossils of different types

  • 2 modern equivalents (bivalve and gastropod) to allow the children to compare and contrast between the fossil and the modern version

  • A trace fossil

  • Laminated pictures of each fossil and a text description, including its type and age

The 4-litre box is from The Really Useful Company,  is commonly used in schools, and is robust enough for schoool life

Fossil Box

The Fossils

  • All fossils used are common and from the UK. We think that’s important because everything in the box can be found by the children themselves

  • Several of the fossils are partial or incomplete, which again is consistent with the children’s own likely ‘found-fossil’ experience

  • Most of the fossils have been donated from collectors across the UK (from their own collections), which keeps the box cost down

  • All the fossil types in the box usually come from more than one location and from different geological epochs


Primary and Secondary Box Contents

  • Each box contains several laminated sheets for the Teacher and Students

  • Common to both Primary and Secondary boxes

  • ‘What’s in the box?’: a list of the fossil types used, their age and location around the UK

  • What are fossils and how are they made

  • Where to find fossils, what to look for, and health & safety in collecting

  • Links to groups running UK-based family trips

  • Teacher ice-breaker questions and tasks

  • Geological map of the UK, showing age of rocks and typical fossils found at each epoch

Specific to Primary Schools

  • Year 3 lesson plan suggestions

  • Year 6 lesson plan suggestions

  • Evolution

Specific to Secondary Schools

  • Britain’s journey from the South Pole

  • Careers page, featuring four bios of people working in Earth Sciences


  • Boxes are supplied at cost (£40 per box) to both Primary and Secondary Schools

  • There are three main routes to obtain a box:

  • A sponsored box, typically the main route for Primary schools, which is generally funded by:

  • Caregivers, family and friends of pupils

  • Friends of the School

  • A directly-purchased box, typically the main route for Secondary Schools

  • A free box, funded by my fossil sales and donations to the project

  • Please note, as the project grows, we might expect waiting lists for free boxes to grow

  • Priority for these is given to primary schools, so secondary schools may face a longer wait

  • The potential for grant funding is being explored – watch this space!

Project progress

  • The first box was delivered to a Herefordshire Primary School in December 2022

  • We’ve provided boxes to schools across the UK

  • 26 to Primary Schools

  • 3 to Secondary Schools

  • 11 are already scheduled for delivery in the next month or so

  • Ongoing collection is underway to replenish our supplies of fossils

  • The Earth Heritage Trust is planning work with Geological groups across the UK e.g., to be delivery partners for the project

  • We are planning a grant application to help with free boxes for schools in need

How can I help?

  • If you would like a box for your school, please contact us. If the school is in a fossil-rich area, we can look to include local material in the box

  • If you would like to be involved in the project, we are looking for delivery partner organisations that will help us deliver the project across the UK (or any other support you feel you can offer!)

  • If you live/work in a part of the UK that is fossil-rich, and you’re able to donate fossils, it would be great to include some of your local material in future boxes

  • Please provide feedback on the boxes and tell us what works, what doesn’t, what’s missing, and any other comments

  • Our emphasis is on increasing accessibility, inclusivity, and making the box a better resource

  • We have two ongoing projects in this space, working with a blind college and a school for young people with moderate to profound and multiple learning difficulties