A WEEKEND of science, discovery and fun awaits Lyme Regis as a popular fossil festival backed by Sir David Attenborough returns.

Lyme Regis Fossil Festival 2023 was saved following a cash boost after it looked likely to be cancelled due to a lack of funding this year.

Visitors will now have the chance to celebrate the rich fossil heritage of the Jurassic Coast with a host of talks, shows, walks, exhibitions and activities on April 29 and 30.

Festival-goers will be able to learn more about how fossils were formed and what they tell us about life millions of years ago at the family-friendly event next weekend on the seafront.

The Lyme Regis area is one of the most famous fossil sites in the world and was the place that one of the most famous palaeontologists, Mary Anning, made many of her ground-breaking discoveries.

The event is being organised by Lyme Regis Museum and is supported by a number of key partners including Lyme Regis Town Council.

It is set to host some the country’s top palaeontological and geological organisations and experts over the course of the weekend.

Legendary nature broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, a long term patron and supporter of the Lyme Regis Museum, welcomed the return of this year’s event.

“I am so glad that the Fossil Festival is happening again. I hope that it will, once again, be a great success," he said.

Alongside the festival’s programme of talks and guided walks, visitors will be able to see exhibitions including fossil collections from The Natural History Museum, the Etches Collection and Dinosaur Isle, as well as meet famous authors including Ian Whybrow and watch live performances. 

Little visitors can also look forward to meeting real-life dinosaur ‘Rexy’ as well as ‘Mary Anning’ who will be accompanying visitors to view her new statue on the seafront.

Throughout the weekend, visits to Lyme Regis Museum will be free and will host craft activities, book signings and storytelling.

The weekend will also see the launch of ‘Mary Anning’s Thunderbolts’, a new exhibition installed in the museum for 2023.

Museum Director Bridget Houseago said: "The Fossil Festival partners and supporters have helped us create a fascinating programme of talks and demonstrations, as well as living history, storytelling, craft activities and trade stands and we are delighted to welcome it back to Lyme – the perfect place for a Fossil Festival."

Entry to the Fossil Festival is free. For full details of exhibitors and the 2023 programme, visit the Fossil Festival website at www.fossilfestival.com