An Ambassador’s Journey – Martin Curtis: Part 2

Continued from Part 1.

A few years later our daughter Martha was born, and I revisited all my childhood haunts along the coast with my family. I was now involved in a Duke of Edinburgh group in Corfe Castle where my role would become a leader for children taking their Bronze level award. I had to have some basic training to do this and this was held on the Jurassic Coast. I now found myself walking to new areas on the coast that I had never been to before.

Martin during a walk on Thornecombe Beacon
Martin during a walk on Thornecombe Beacon

For my training it was necessary for me to get some hill walking days with leading experience. It was at this point I decided to start my own walking group. This would give me the leadership experience I needed and get me out onto the coastal path I enjoyed so much. After a few years of running the group I had gained extensive knowledge of the Jurassic Coast throughout Dorset. While on many walks I always thought that I should know more about the geology of the coast and the areas I walked in, but never really did much about it.

It was by chance four years later while sat drinking coffee in my favourite coffee shop that I stumbled across the local newspaper. It was in the paper that I found an advert from the Jurassic Coast Trust who were looking for local people that had a connection with the coast. They were looking for people to join the Trust and become Ambassadors to help them promote the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. After reading this I was interested, so responded to the ad.

I few months later I found myself at an Ambassador meeting where I got to meet some very interesting people learning new facts about the Jurassic Coast; even as a local I never knew some of them. After a few more meetings and some training I had become an Ambassador for the Trust and could now spread the word about the World Heritage Site and help on events when I could.

The Ichthyosaur bone found by the family on Charmouth beach
The Ichthyosaur bone found by the family on Charmouth beach

Since becoming an Ambassador for the Trust I have now got more into fossil hunting, visiting the World Heritage Site most weekends… looking for that next important find! I take my daughters when possible as they both enjoy fossil hunting and spending time on the beach. Our best find to date was part of an Ichthyosaur jaw rostrum! We were fortunate to find this on our first visit to Charmouth back in January.

Darcie fossil hunting on Charmouth Beach early this year
Darcie fossil hunting on Charmouth Beach early this year

Darcie and Martha have recently joined the Trust’s new ‘Go Jurassic!’ Rangers Scheme and feel they are now also part of the Jurassic Coast! Darcie knows just as much as I do about the geology of the World Heritage Site and I have now completed pretty much all of the 95 mile stretch through my walking.

After being born and brought up in Dorset I now find myself promoting the area I grew up in and joining the Trust has only cemented my connection with it. Family life keeps me busy but I look forward to continuing as an Ambassador for the Trust and will also promote the World Heritage Site during my walks. The Trust holds some great events and I look forward to helping with these over the coming months.

Martin gives a talk about rocks and fossils at Darcie's school
Martin gives a talk about rocks and fossils at Darcie’s school

This week I was asked by Darcie’s school to come in and give a talk to the class on rocks and fossils, and I was glad to be able to call on my Ambassador skills and my fossil collection!

Martin helping out at the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival as an Ambassador for the Jurassic Coast Trust
Martin helping out at the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival as an Ambassador for the Jurassic Coast Trust

If you live near, come on holiday to, use or work on the Jurassic Coast, joining either as a ‘Friend of the Jurassic Coast’, ‘Go Jurassic! Ranger’ or Ambassador will only bring you closer to the place you love. There is so much to do here, so much to learn about, so much to see. So visit www.jurassiccoast.org now and find out more!

Martin Curtis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *