Lyme Regis Festival backed by UNESCO

THE Lyme Regis Fossil Festival is being backed by UNESCO in recognition of its work in the area.

THE Lyme Regis Fossil Festival is being backed by UNESCO in recognition of its work in the area.

The organisation, which designates World Heritage Sites, has announced its patronage of the 2012 Jurassic Coast Earth Festival - including the Lyme Regis event.

The Lyme Regis Development Trust and the Jurassic Coast Team (JCT) have talked about initiatives being developed in the area with the body for some time - such as the fossil festivals and Studies Centre.

Marcus Dixon, chief executive officer of the trust, said: "This is a rare accolade and we are thrilled."

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In 2009, the UNESCO assistant director general for natural sciences opened the fossil festival, 'Evolution Rock.' And the JCT, with the UK national commission for UNESCO, hosted a youth summit in Lyme Regis.

Sam Rose, the JCT leader, said: "It means that the work has been recognised internationally as an example of good practice and will raise its profile significantly.

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"We will continue to work closely with the Development Trust and other partners in Lyme to see these ambitious plans realised."

Earth Festival director Candida Baker said the partnership with UNESCO would help make links between communities along the coast and other World Heritage Sites abroad.

She said: "We hope young people will show us the way, through a sense of pride in our extraordinary geological heritage and our need for stewardship of the natural environment."

Next year's festival will take place from April 29 to May 1, and will have a marine theme. The key partners are the Natural History Museum, Jurassic Coast Team, Natural England, and National Oceanography Centre. New partners are invited to take part.

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