More than 40 members of Crewkerne U3A’s geology group experienced what marine life was like 150 million years ago, when they visited a new immersive museum at Kimmeridge near Wareham in Dorset. The Etches Collection Museum of Jurassic Marine Life opened in October last year and is home to over 2,000 Jurassic Kimmeridgian specimens, discovered by local resident Steve Etches.
Steve Etches is a fossil collector and researcher with over 35 years experience. The vast collection of fossils, now on display in the new museum, was formerly kept in his garage. Steve gave the geology group a conducted tour of the £5m building, which takes visitors on a journey to discover what underwater life was like during the late Jurassic period, features displays of fossils, video presentations and a workshop where visitors can see how specimens are revealed and cleaned.
After visiting the museum, some members of the group, looked for fossils on the rocks in Kimmeridge Bay. Geology group leader Val Watson said: “Low tide enabled the sharp-eyed amongst us, to find specimens of their own.” The new finds included some very large fossils of ammonites, ferns and corals, discovered on the exposed rocks on the beach.