Countdown to the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival

Countdown to the 10th Lyme Regis Fossil Festival

Just a few days to go until the start of the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival.  The festival, celebrating its tenth year kicks off with two days dedicated to supporting science teaching in schools before opening to the public on Saturday 29th April.  In a packed programme, there are a wide variety of family themed activities and events aimed at all ages to celebrate the natural and cultural history of this Dorset town and its prominent place on England’s Jurassic Coast.

This Year Marks the Tenth Anniversary of the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival

The Lyme Regis Fossil Festival - lots of activities to explore.

The Lyme Regis Fossil Festival – lots of activities to explore.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The theme for this year’s Fossil Festival is getting young people enthused by STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects. Everything Dinosaur knows STEM very well, our own dinosaur and fossil workshops are prominently displayed within the STEM directory of school activities.  Indeed, our educational workshops have recently been revised and upgraded to further enhance science learning objectives.  All part of our support for the Royal Institution, who now manage the on line STEM database.

Down on the seafront, three marquees will host a range of displays and activities, with experts on hand to answer questions and provide advice on careers in the Earth Sciences.  The Palaeontological Association will provide a tactile introduction to fossils and the Geological Society might be able to tempt you with some fossil casting, whilst the Scott Polar Research Institute will be looking for volunteers to dress like an explorer and if you fancy it, you can see how you measure up against a penguin with the British Antarctic Survey.

Will You Get Lucky and Find a Fossil?

Will you find a fossil at Lyme Regis?

Will you find a fossil at Lyme Regis?

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Fossil Walks

Over the weekend, the festival will also be running a series of guided fossil walks.  There will also be a programme of talks and presentations given by leading scientists and academics.  A highlight will be the fossil polishing workshops planned by the Lyme Regis Museum, you can also pick up tips on how best to display your own fossil discoveries.  Local fossil expert Brandon Lennon has promised to send us some pictures, as our own teaching and field work commitments mean that we can’t make the festival this year, so disappointing, especially when Brandon tells us that there have been some exciting fossil finds over the winter and this spring.

Brandon explained:

“The winter storms and the high tides have battered the cliffs once again and there have been a large number of fossils washed out onto the foreshore, it looks like it is going to be a very exciting time to be visiting the Dorset coast looking for fossils and with the festival taking place there is going to be plenty of experts on hand to provide advice, support and assistance.”

One of the best ways to explore the geology of this beautiful part of the world, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is to participate in a guided fossil walk.  For further information on fossil walks and tours: Lyme Regis Fossil Walks

A Wonderful Family Friendly Festival

Prehistoric animal drawing fun at the Lyme Regis fossil festival.

Prehistoric animal drawing fun at the Lyme Regis fossil festival.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Commenting on the large number of august scientific institutions attending this year’s event, Heather Prior, the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival co-ordinator stated:

“Teams will also be attending from the Jurassic World Heritage Site, The Geological Society, Natural England and universities.  The festival will provide plenty of information and inspiration so that young people can learn about educational and career opportunities.”

Look out too for “Iggy the Iguanodon Restaurant” which is making its debut at the festival.  Iggy is a thirty foot long replica of a Victorian representation of Iguanodon, reminiscent of the Crystal Palace model constructed by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins.  This dinosaur (the second to be formally named), provides the stage for an innovative and educational piece of street theatre.  We suspect that the “restaurant” bit refers to the fact that a New Year’s Eve banquet was once held in part of the Iguanodon material destined for permanent display in the south of London.

To read more about this strange feast: Dinner Inside a Dinosaur

We at Everything Dinosaur would like to wish the organisers and everyone taking part in this year’s festival the very best of luck and we look forward to hearing more about the fun activities and events as well as posting up some pictures of this, the tenth, Lyme Regis Fossil Festival.

For further information on the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival and to view the programme of events: 2016 Lyme Regis Fossil Festival

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