Dorset Coast set to see Rise in European Tourists

With sterling (GBP) weakening against most of the major currencies in the world, including the Euro, many tourist destinations are expecting an influx of European visitors as they take advantage of the favourable exchange rate.

The Jurassic coast of Dorset and East Devon is no exception, this World Heritage status coastline has attracted a lot of attention from a number of German media companies in recent months, keen to report back on the unique charms of this part of the United Kingdom.

For Ian and Brandon Lennon who run www.lymeregisfossilwalks.com  they have had to practice their German, as in recent months the have been joined by crews from three German media companies.  Last year, a photographer and a journalist from a German based magazine joined Ian and his son Brandon, on a fossil walk, taking pictures of the fossils that were found.  Recently, a film crew and reporter from NDR television spent a day with the professional fossil hunters, as they toured along Monmouth Beach to Seven Rocks Point, locations that have provided Brandon with some excellent fossil finds over the last few months.  The film crew are currently in the process of completing a television series, due to be screened shortly, highlighting the features to be found when visiting European coasts.

Commenting on the German interest, Ian stated:

“It is always surprising to foreign visitors that collecting is allowed in a UNESCO World Heritage site, so it was good to put on record for the television crew an outline of the Collecting Code of Conduct that applies to this area”.

Whilst out with the film crew, Ian and Brandon’s local knowledge and expertise were to the fore as they found an exceptionally large specimen of a Jurassic nautiloid.  The Nautiloids are cephalopods similar to the extinct ammonites, there are two species of Nautilus still living today, both are found in the Pacific.  Fossil nautiloids and ammonites have coiled shells divided into a series of chambers by thin cross walls called septae.  Only the final chamber was occupied by the living animal, older chambers were filled with a mixture of gas and water.  By changing the proportions of the liquid and gas in these chambers these types of cephalopod could adjust their buoyancy.  The easiest way to tell a fossil ammonite from a nautilus is to try to find the suture lines, these occur when the septae meets the chamber wall.  These suture lines are usually easy to find on any fossils of an internal mould.  The suture lines in nautiloids are extremely simple, whereas the suture lines in ammonites are much more complex and folded into complicated saddles and lobes.  The shells of nautiloids tend to be thicker than most ammonites, it is thought that the complicated folding seen on the suture lines of ammonites helps to strengthen the shells and protect them from the pressure exerted on the animal in deeper water.

Brandon Lennon with the Nautiloid Fossil found whilst with the German Film Crew

Picture Credit: Bridport News

This large fossil specimen was featured in the filming and permitted the German film crew to gain an insight into how fossils are prepared and cleaned up by Brandon and his father at their fossil workshop.

It looks like it is going to be another busy season for Lennon family as they prepare for an increase in Europeans wanting to go out with them on their daily fossil walks.

Brandon’s daily guided fossil walks are already very popular.  Walks take place from Saturday to Tuesday and start at Lyme Bay.  Start times depend on the time of year and the season.  Whilst team members at Everything Dinosaur have been on the beaches at Lyme or Charmouth we have often seen Brandon enthusiastically taking out a party to explore the beach and look for fossils.

To enquire about fossil walks with Brandon: Information about Fossil Walks

To see some of the fossils found by Brandon and his team (and to get the chance to purchase some of his exquisite finds): Lyme Regis Fossils for Sale

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