Author: Lucy Culkin - Chief Executive Officer

The Creation of the Jurassic Coast Collection Working Group


We recently announced that the Jurassic Coast Trust were inviting expressions of interest from individuals with the skills, experience and drive to volunteer as part of a working group that will help us to protect the palaeontological heritage of the Jurassic Coast through our Jurassic Coast Collection. The establishment of this Working Group is the latest positive development for the Jurassic Coast Collection, following the successful securing of two years’ of funding from the John Ellerman Foundation, and the publication of the Year 1 Report.

I am today delighted to announce that following a successful first round of recruitment, the following roles have been appointed to the Jurassic Coast Collection Working Group and our first meeting is scheduled in January 2022:

  • Chair – Professor Mike Benton, University of Bristol;
  • A nominated Trustee of the Jurassic Coast Trust to reflect an understanding of the World Heritage Site, its management and conservation – Dr Jonathan Larwood, Natural England;
  • Up to two representatives from the fossil collecting community – David Sole and Dr Fiann Smithwick;
  • Up to two representatives from the academic/research community – Professor Richard Butler, University of Birmingham and tbc;
  • A representative(s) to bring expertise from visitor/heritage centres and museums – Vicky Dewit, Museums Advisor for Bournemouth, Dorset & Poole and Community Museums Officer for East Devon (tbc);
  • A representative from Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre to bring expertise regarding the fossil collecting codes of conduct – Phil Davidson, Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre;
  • A representative from the Natural History Museum or alternative national museum/organisation – Professor Richard Twitchett, Natural History Museum.

However, this isn’t your last chance to be involved in the Jurassic Coast Collection Working Group! Following a successful first round of recruitment, we are again welcoming applications from individuals with a background in relevant academic research; business strategy; and/or equality, diversity, and inclusion practices, in order to provide broad representation and diverse membership. More details about the roles available and recruitment process can be found here:

The Working Group will represent the collective views of key organisations and stakeholders relevant to the palaeontology of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Among its roles, the Working Group will advocate for new research, advise on the development of a digital ‘museum’, promote wider understanding and public engagement with the Jurassic Coast’s extraordinary fossil specimens, as well as supporting local museums with the curation, growth and interpretation of their fossil collections.

The Group will also collaborate in the drafting of a feasibility study for a centre dedicated to the World Heritage Site and its exceptional fossil record. This study will undertake a critical assessment of the need and business case for a new development as well as its sustainability, public impact and the role it could play in celebrating World Heritage Site status, acquiring and displaying fossils, and supporting existing museums.

We look forward to reporting progress to come.

Back to Latest News