The BGS operates the largest core facility in the UK at Keyworth, Nottingham. It has recently been extended and now has space for over 18 000 pallets of drillcore and 80 000 trays of samples, weighing up to 10 000 tons.
Drillcore is usually held as metre long sticks in boxes. Some of the older cores were broken up into individually registered specimens, frequently exhibiting the fossils used for dating the samples.
The collections contain over a million individual specimens. There are also extensive collections of 'cuttings' (rock fragments recovered from the drilling).
Pallets of drillcore are retrieved using a forklift, which ensures they remain horizontal at all times.
The majority of borehole cores and samples are available for study and sub-sampling by bona fide academics and commercial companies. Copies of the regulations and access forms are available from Scott Renshaw, Core Store Manager.
Commercial companies are charged for access; academics will need to complete an academic waiver form.
The online database also provides information on available sample depths and types.
In addition to the core examination laboratories, other facilities are available by arrangement: