CHILDREN at St Michael’s Primary School in Lyme Regis are learning about a very important historical figure – Mary Anning.

Lin Patterson, a teaching assistant at the school, spent a day dressed up as Mary Anning to give a presentation to pupils of Mary’s life and talk about what she achieved.

One child said they were “proud to live in the same town that Mary grew up in” while another said they learnt how Mary had a dog called Tray that went with her finding the fossils.

A spokesperson for the school said: “Mary Anning has always been a prominent figure of Lyme Regis.

“It is important for the children to learn about her life and why she is famous in Lyme Regis.”

The day of learning about Mary Anning follows a proposal to erect a statue of the palaeontologist in the town.

The project is being headed by Anya Pearson and her daughter Evie Swire, with the support of the town council and art and design teacher, Esther Yarnold, with their campaign #MaryAnningRocks.

Anya thinks it is very important for children to learn about Mary Anning, but she finds that she is not very well-known outside of the county.

She said: “If you drive a couple of hundred miles away from Dorset, no one knows who Mary Anning is, which I find shocking given the enormity of what she did.

“It is hugely important children are taught about Mary Anning as a lot of women in history come from wealthy, middle-class backgrounds, and Mary Anning should resonate more as she was from working-class and poor.”

Anya added that in terms of the campaign to have a statue of Anning in Lyme Regis, they have “all their ducks in a line” and just have the task of fundraising.

She said: “We want something special and that doesn’t come cheap – we are looking at between £150,000 to £200,000.

“This is something that will be prominent in Lyme Regis and it needs to be beautiful.”

For more information on the statue or to donate, visit