THIS year’s Lyme Regis Fossil Festival was another success, with thousands of people visiting the three-day event.

Founded in 2005 and run by the Lyme Regis Development Trust, this year’s festival theme was ‘mapping the Earth’, in celebration of geologist William Smith, who created the first geological map of Britain in 1815.

Events took place in a grand marquee on the beach, as well as throughout Lyme Regis and Charmouth, and fossil fans had the chance to meet scientists, take part in hands-on demonstrations and enjoy musical and theatrical entertainment.

The British Antarctic survey team’s stall had more than 5,000 visitors and displayed examples of expedition equipment and a crab that is new to science.

The Lyme Regis Museum stall also proved popular, with crowds enjoying staff talks on William Smith’s maps.

Organisers also said that on the dedicated schools’ day they welcomed 680 primary school children from 22 different schools.

Peter Jeffs, CEO of Lyme Regis Development Trust, said: “We have been delighted to be able to put on this free event once more, thanks to our many sponsors and grant-givers.

“It has become part of the way we maintain our area’s reputation for geology and paleontology, and the links with major national bodies help make this event prestigious.

“The sheer numbers attending show how this captures people’s imagination — especially children, who we hope will become the scientists of the future.”