12:00 AM 6th May 2024

The Yorkshire Fossil Festival Celebrates Its 10th Birthday

Yorkshire Fossil Festival Redcar
Photos: Tony Bartholomew©
Yorkshire Fossil Festival Redcar Photos: Tony Bartholomew©
The Yorkshire Fossil Festival celebrates its 10th birthday this late May Bank Holiday weekend with its first ever visit to Redcar.

The popular festival has had two remarkably successful years post-Covid, with crowds flocking to Scarborough’s Spa in 2022 and Whitby Museum in 2023.

This year, the team are heading to the TunedIn! centre on Redcar seafront, where they’ll team up with the inaugural Redcar Kite Festival for a spectacular event.

YFF co-directors Dr Liam Herringshaw and Steve Cousins (AKA The Rock Showman) say:
“Our big birthday Bank Holiday bash is going to be a fabulous weekend of fossils, flight and fun! Fossils are a deep dive into the planet’s past, and they also help us take flight into the future.

“Fossils are in the news at the moment, not least with the recent discovery by a 15-year-old girl in Somerset of what’s believed to be the largest ever Ichthyosaur. The rocks there are of very similar age to Redcar’s, and many marine reptile fossils have been found along this coast – who knows what we might find?

“We’re really looking forward to working with our friends at the Redcar Kite Festival for a truly memorable weekend.”

2023 Whitby Event
Photos: Tony Bartholomew©
2023 Whitby Event Photos: Tony Bartholomew©
Events over the weekend will include:

Redcar rocks: The coast and hills of Cleveland are home to some of Britain's best Jurassic and Ice Age geology. The festival includes guided beach walks where you can see a prehistoric forest or find the fossils of Jurassic giants amongst the rocks. Scientists are on hand to help you learn about ancient environments and identify long-extinct creatures.

Meet Flip the robot plesiosaur The star of BBC TV’s Attenborough and the Giant Sea Monster will be joining the team in Redcar, expertly handled by creator Dr Luke Muscutt of Imperial College London.

Show us your toenails: Curvy Jurassic seashells, often known as devil's toenails, are very common on Redcar beach. Common doesn't mean boring, though, as every specimen has been on an amazing adventure. The YFF’s ‘Devil's (Toenail) Advocate – palaeontologist Dr Jed Atkinson – and a team of artists, scientists and storytellers will be on hand to tell some toenail tales.

Meet the experts: All weekend, fossil experts from across the country will be on hand to show you their discoveries and identify your own finds. There will be talks, walks, and workshops, and a Festival Field Day on Monday 27 May (locations TBC, but likely to be Redcar, Whitby and Speeton).

Whitby Event
Photos: Tony Bartholomew©
Whitby Event Photos: Tony Bartholomew©
There will also be a full programme of entertainment, including street theatre, dance, live music and circus, with artists confirmed so far including Birmingham’s Keneish Dance and international performers Let’s Circus and The Rock Showman and Friends.

Expert exhibitors will include: The Palaeontological Association, the Geologists' Association, the British Geological Survey, the University of Leeds, Whitby Museum, the Yorkshire Geological Society, the Yorkshire Natural History Museum, York Museums Trust, Fossils in t'Hills and the Dinosaur Isle Museum, alongside trade stands from Natural Wonders/Fossils-UK, Yorkshire Coast Fossils, The Yorkshire Fossil Hunter, Neojurassica, Stone Treasures, Doghouse Designs, and the Jurassic Coast Drinks Company.

The Yorkshire Fossil Festival is supported by Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, and funded by AngloAmerican, The Palaeontological Association, and the Yorkshire Geological Society.

It will take place at the TunedIn! centre, Majuba Road, Redcar, TS10 5BJ, between 11am and 5pm on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 May.

Updates on the on the festival programme, and on the field day on Monday 27 May, will be regularly posted on the YFF website: https://yorkshirefossilfestival.co.uk/ and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/yorksfossilfest/