Free Fossil Festival at Scarborough's Rotunda Museum

Free event over the weekend of September 13 and 15
Free event over the weekend of September 13 and 15

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

Now in its fifth year, the event, from Friday September 13 to Sunday September 15 will be bigger and better than ever, with local and national museums, universities and businesses providing entertainment and expertise. The Friday will feature events especially for 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.

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.

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.”

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

The Yorkshire Fossil Festival is sponsored supported by Scarborough Museums Trust, the Palaeontological Association, the University of Hull, Scarborough Borough Council and Sirius Minerals.