The 10th Lyme Regis Fossil Festival is taking place this year. It is open to the public from Saturday 29th April to Sunday 1st May 2016. The festival celebrates the natural and cultural history of Lyme Regis and the Jurassic Coast. It provides a wide range of activities and events for all ages, ensuring that everyone will have lots of fun.
Iggy the Iguanodon Restaurant is premiering at the festival and you can be one of the first people to see him before he goes on tour over the next three years. Iggy is a 30 foot replica of a Victorian iguanodon which provides the stage for an innovative and educational piece of street theatre. The performance explores the origins of Palaeontology and features Lyme Regis’s own Mary Anning as a character. The project is supported by the Arts Council of England and other partners and is brought to Lyme Regis Fossil Festival thanks to funding from the Jurassic Coast Trust. Featuring a quality performance in a unique setting, the Iguanodon Restaurant promises to be entertaining, informative and original.
The theme for this year’s Fossil Festival is getting young people enthused by STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects. Three marquees will host a range of prestigious partners offering displays and activities. Experts will be on hand to answer questions and advise those interested in a career in Earth sciences and related fields. Several universities will be present, providing information on educational courses for those who want to pursue a career in STEM subjects. It’s a fantastic opportunity to talk to scientists and investigate the STEM subjects which appeal to you.
There will be a variety of activities aimed at children, to demonstrate how fun Science can be. The Palaeontological Association promise to have lots of fossil specimens to hold and touch, you can try fossil dough casting with the Geological Society and make plasticine models for the National Trust’s diorama. The Jurassic Coast Trust and Jurassic World Heritage Site will offer colouring in activities and help you to build your own Durdle Door.
The British Antarctic Survey are setting up an interactive field camp and you can measure your height against the smallest and tallest penguins. You can explore the wildlife of Antarctica with the Scott Polar Research Institute and get kitted out like an early explorer. Natural England is holding an Undercliff Tree Challenge, showing you the most common specimens of tree fossils and challenging you to find your own examples.
The festival also has a programme of Fossil Walks, which are guided fossil hunting trips. You will be given an introduction to fossil hunting by a fossil specialist, so that you will know how to look for fossils and what you are looking for. You can also attend scheduled Fossil Talks to learn more about fossils and their contexts. No prior knowledge is needed – just a desire to learn.
The Fossil Fair is another of the festival’s highlights. There will be plenty of fossils, minerals and jewellery to browse and buy, so you can start your fossil collection the easy way. There will also be some rare specimens to admire. However, if you would prefer to find your own fossils, Lyme Regis Museum is holding fossil polishing workshops so you can learn how to display your discoveries.
Lyme Regis Fossil Festival delivers fun for all the family. Whether you are already passionate about fossils or would like to learn the basics, there will be lots for you to do. You could even spark a lifelong interest in fossils. Come and celebrate Britain’s biggest, most established and best Fossil Festival!
For more information, booking details and updates, please see the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival website: www.fossilfestival.co.uk
All images courtesy of Maisie Hill