Natural History Museum takes a seaside jaunt for this year's Scarborough Fossil Festival

By Culture24 Staff | 02 June 2010
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an artist's drawing showing prehistoric undersea creatures

(Above) Visitors to Scarborough's fossil fair will be able to meet palao-artist Bob Nichols at the Rotunda Museum. © Bob Nichols

Festival: Scarborough Fossil Festival, various venues in Scarborough, June 17 – June 20 2010

Experts from the Natural History Museum in London will be joining specialists from across Yorkshire this month when they head to Scarborough for the annual Fossil Festival.

The North Yorkshire seaside town will be celebrating all things paleontological during the long weekend, and Scarborough Museums Trust are promising a "veritable feast of fossils".

Scarborough is an apt location. The geology of the Yorkshire coast represents more than 180 million years of earth history, with Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks providing a record of past environments including huge oceans and tropical floodplains.

The town is also home to The Rotunda, one of the oldest purpose-built museums in Britain, built in 1829 to the specifications of William Smith – the father of English geology.

a photo of a child looking at a table of fossils

A younger visitor at the fossil handling table

Visitors will be able to discover this rich heritage and delve into all manner of subjects ranging from what life was like on earth all those years ago to how rock formations and our landscape have been formed over the millennia, explained by world-renowned experts.

Amateur fossil hunters can also bring along their own collections and get the answers they’re looking for as venues throughout the town take part in activities designed to get everyone fossiking.

Scarborough Collections at Woodend will be the base camp for the NHM, staff who will be bringing along a display of some very rare specimens from London and other local collections rarely seen by the public.

a photo of a group of people on a beach looking for fossils

(Above) The coast of Scarborough is a rich source of fossils

Scarborough Art Gallery will be making fossil art and the recently redeveloped Rotunda Museum will be the starting point for a series of walks exploring the South Bay and William Smith's Scarborough along the Castle headland.

The Rotunda will also be the base for palao-artist Bob Nichols, who will be demonstrating his unique style of paleontological art, which you could get the chance to own in an auction to take place over the weekend.

Visit the Rotunda Museum online for more details.

More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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