Lyme Regis Welcomes Fossil Fanatics

The annual Lyme Regis Fossil Festival took place over the weekend (April 29th until May 2nd) and despite the unsettled weather, thousands of fossil fans, collectors and enthusiastic amateur palaeontologists descended on the Dorset town.  This year’s festival theme “Dead or Alive”; celebrating the international year of biodiversity, was very appropriate as this part of the “Jurassic coast” is perhaps the best place to explore the ancient biodiversity of a prehistoric Mesozoic marine environment.

Some of the Beautiful Ammonite Fossils on Display at the Festival

Picture Credit: Brandon Lennon (www.lymeregisfossilwalks.com)

This part of Dorset is not just known for its spectacular fossils.  To the east of the town of Lyme Regis, stretching out from Chesil beach is the Isle of Portland, a remote and beautiful part of the Dorset coast.  The island is famous for its Portland stone, robust limestone that has been used in the construction industry since Roman times.  Some of Britain’s most famous landmarks are made from Portland stone, iconic buildings such as St Paul’s Cathedral, the Cenotaph and Buckingham Palace in London.  Although regarded as an island, it is not surrounded by water, as Portland is linked to the mainland via Chesil beach.  The quarries at Portland have revealed dinosaur trackways and many fossil invertebrates and at the fossil festival sculptors put on a display of their craft using the famous Portland limestone.

Sculpting Portland Stone at the Fossil Festival

Carving away at the Fossil Festival

Picture Credit: Brandon Lennon (www.lymeregisfossilwalks.com)

Of course, with so many local fossil experts on hand, there was plenty of opportunity to pick up a souvenir of the visit.  Perhaps a fossil Ammonite to call your own, or something a little more unusual such as fossil Brachiopods or an Ichthyosaurus vertebrae.   A particularly wide selection of fossils for sale was seen at the Mike’s Minerals and Fossils with a number of local Ammonite specimens plus other fossil curios such as preserved prehistoric fish from the Western United States.

Thanks to all the event organisers for helping to make the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival such a success this year and our thanks to Brandon Lennon for sending us some pictures.

To visit Brandon’s Fossil Shop: Lyme Regis Fossils for Sale

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