David Attenborough backs £85m Jurassic coast theme park

Former quarry in Dorset lined up as site for Jurassica project showcasing prehistory of England’s south coast

The proposed site is within the 95-mile long Jurassic coast, a world heritage site because of its geological importance. Photograph: Graeme Robertson

An ambitious project to showcase the prehistory of the south coast of England, famous for its marine fossils from ammonites to giant sea reptiles, has attracted support from David Attenborough and Eden Project founder Tim Smit.

A former quarry on the Isle of Portland, Dorset, is being investigated as the site for the £85m Jurassica park for which the designer of the Shard building in London, Renzo Piano, has provided preliminary sketches of a domed glass and steel roof, according to the journalist behind the idea.

The site is within the 95-mile long Jurassic coast,a world heritage site because of its importance in understanding geological periods from 250m to 65m years ago.

Michael Hanlon, a science journalist, has made presentations to scientific leaders and businesses in a bid to raise interest and money for the project. For Hanlon, who was born and grew up in Dorset, “the heritage is really of the extraordinary marine fauna. It is the place where you can say science really began, where we suddenly realised we were living on a really old planet that used to be very different from what it is now.”

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