Step back in time at this year’s fossil festival

The Yorkshire Fossil Festival returns to Scarborough next month with a weekend of more than 30 free activities and events for all the family – and for both enthusiasts and professionals.

Wednesday, 21st August 2019, 9:00 am
The fossil festival is expected to be bigger and better with local and national museums providing their expertise.

Now in its fifth year the event, held from Friday, September 13 to Sunday, September 15, promises to be ‘bigger and better than ever’, with local and national museums, universities and businesses providing entertainment and expertise.

The Friday events will feature events aimed at schools.

Highlights include a rare showing of one of the original geological maps created by William ‘Strata’ Smith, known as the Father of English geology, in the year that marks the 250th anniversary of his birth; an exhibition by leading contemporary artist Kathy Prendergast; and a careers fair for would-be geologists.

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The festival will be based at the historic Rotunda Museum and its surrounding grounds – and this year, for the first time, events will also take place at Scarborough Art Gallery and Woodend.

Fossil Festival exhibitors and contributors include: the Universities of Hull, Leeds and Leicester, the Natural History Museum, the Isle of Wight’s Dinosaur Isle museum, Whitby Museum, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, and the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Andrew Clay, chief executive of Scarborough Museums Trust, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the Yorkshire Fossil Festival here in Scarborough again. This year is the 250th anniversary of William Smith’s birth so we wanted to do something different to honour the ‘father of geology’: for the first time ever, we will be exhibiting one of Smith’s original maps.

“We’re also very excited to have developed a new partnership with award-winning art and science organisation Invisible Dust: between us, we’ve invited internationally renowned artist Kathy Prendergast to create an exhibition that explores her ongoing fascination with maps and a hidden history of women in geology.

“Invisible Dust will also be creating an intriguing secret gallery with budding environmental activists from St Peter’s School and local artists Janet White and Charlotte Salt at the Rotunda Museum over the weekend.

“Our learning team will be delivering a range of events for families and visitors throughout the weekend. Finally, for budding geologists, we have partnered with Hull University and Sirius Mineral to host a geology careers fair at Woodend – and we’re calling it, of course, Jobs that Rock.”

For more details about events at Scarborough Art Gallery, the Rotunda Museum and Woodend, call 01723 384503 or visit