Fossil enthusiasts of all ages arrived in their thousands for the 15th annual Lyme Regis Fossil Festival over the bank holiday weekend.

The event - backed by legendary veteran broadcaster Sir David Attenborough - offered visitors a jam-packed programme of science, discovery and fun celebrating the  geological heritage of the Jurassic Coast.

It looked like the festival may not happen earlier this year due to cash shortages but it was saved in March by Lyme Regis Museum with the backing of the Lyme Regis Town Council and other key partners.

These included the Geologists’ Association, The Etches Collection, the Jurassic Coast Trust and the Natural History Museum.

Alongside the festival’s free programme of expert talks and guided walks, visitors were able see exhibitions including fossil collections and hands-on demonstrations.

They could also meet famous authors including Ian Whybrow (Author of ‘Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs’) and Dr Tom Sharpe (Author of ‘The Fossil Woman: A Life of Mary Anning’).

Meanwhile, live performances and a puppet show added to the weekend's entertainment across the weekend of April 29 and 30. 

Family visitors were thrilled to meet real-life dinosaur ‘Rexy’ as well as ‘Mary Anning’ who met groups at the museum and accompanied them to to her new statue where she performed a show. 

The Bridge Street museum hosted craft activities, book signings and storytelling and launched ‘Mary Anning’s Thunderbolts’ - a new exhibition installed for 2023.

Visitor Sinead Allen brought her family to the event and said: "We had an amazing two days exploring the Fossil Festival.

"There was so much to see and do lots to learn and lots of fun to be had. Thank you to the staff and volunteers at Lyme Regis Museum for saving this amazing event – we’ll be back."

Bridget Houseago, museum director of Lyme Regis Museum, the main organisers of the event, added: “The Fossil Festival was fantastic, it was wonderful to see so many people in the museum and around the festival site enjoying the programme of talks, walks, workshops, and performances.

"Many thanks to all the participants, volunteers, guides, speakers, performers, and authors who helped make the event such a success.”

Lyme Regis Museum has confirmed that the fossil festival will return next year on Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9.