A west Dorset centre has been praised and recognised for scientific and environmental work in the community.

The Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre has been awarded the Royal Geographical Society’s Award for facilitating fieldwork and encouraging scientific and environmental engagement within the community.

The awards are presented annually in recognition of those who have made outstanding contributions in geography.

A spokesman for Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre said: “We are very pleased to have won this award and our thanks go to Professor Jim Rose for the nomination. Deputy senior warden Alison Ferris will be off to the Royal Geographical Society later in the year to collect the award. The award will be presented by the society’s president, Baroness Chalker.

“The award acknowledges the achievement in fulfilling the objectives set out in the constitution of the Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre Charity, which are to advance the education of the public in the geology, palaeontology, geomorphology and natural history of the coast and adjacent areas at Charmouth and to maintain the centre at Charmouth for education and information to encourage management of the coast and adjacent area.”

The centre is free to enter and in 2018 it welcomed more than 150,000 visitors, including around 4,000 school children.

The centre houses fossils from local collectors, including the Attenborough Sea Dragon which will remain on display in 2020.

To find out more, visit charmouth.org/chcc