A NEW video microscope at Lyme Regis Museum is allowing visitors to get up close to fossils found on local shores.

Lyme Regis Town Council funded the technology for use in the museum’s learning space and fossil gallery, which are part of the new Mary Anning Wing.

The video microscope allows visitors to examine fossils they have found on the beach, as well as those in the museum’s collection, in great detail.

The technology is also used to study other miniature forms of life, allowing a greater understanding of the structure of past life.

The images from the microscope are then shown on a large screen for everyone to see.

The microscope will also be used by local schoolchildren, as part of the museum’s free education service for Lyme Regis schools. 

Lyme Regis mayor, Cllr Michaela Ellis, tried out the microscope and presented a cheque for £2,500 to the museum’s director, David Tucker.

Mr Tucker said: “The video microscope kindly funded by the town council has proved incredibly popular. 

“It allows people to get a really close look at fossils and gives our visitors the opportunity to operate the microscope themselves, enlarging and focussing in on the specimens. 

“As you might expect, the fossilised poo specimen has proved very popular. 

“Using the microscope, visitors are able to spot fish scales in the specimen, which lets you know what creature that deposited it ate 200 million years ago.”

Cllr Ellis said: “This is a really useful piece of equipment, which the town council was pleased to fund. 

“It will be of huge benefit to visitors and school groups, helping them to learn in greater detail about the fascinating world of fossils. 

“The Mary Anning Wing is a great addition to our local museum, and the new video microscope adds to the appeal of the new learning space and fossil gallery.”

Lyme Regis Museum’s most famous patron, Sir David Attenborough, opened the new wing in a special inauguration ceremony in September.

Sir David gave a speech at the event, emphasising the importance of Lyme Regis to the development of the science of geology. He also spoke fondly of Lyme’s Mary Anning.

For more information about the museum, including opening times and events, visit www.lymeregismuseum.co.uk