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Fossil experts reveal ‘possibility’ of another mammoth find on north Norfolk coast

PUBLISHED: 23:15 10 August 2016 | UPDATED: 23:15 10 August 2016

Richard Belson, Russell Yeomans and Martin Warren at the fossil roadshow at West Runton.

Richard Belson, Russell Yeomans and Martin Warren at the fossil roadshow at West Runton.

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Fossil experts have not ruled out another mammoth discovery being made on the north Norfolk coast at West Runton.

Visitors at the fossil roadshow in West RuntonVisitors at the fossil roadshow in West Runton

Martin Warren, former curator of Cromer Museum, was one of the first on the scene when the West Runton Elephant was unearthed on the beach in December 1990.

And he revealed interesting finds have continued to be made along the shore over the quarter of a century which has followed.

The Geology Walks leader was on hand to help identify finds - including mammoth teeth - at a rock, mineral, fossil and shell roadshow to celebrate the area’s coast at West Runton on Monday.

Mr Warren said: “It is an area of active research and it has given up enormous amounts of secrets, and it will continue to do so, because we have got the material here; the sedimentary archive, we have it being exposed by the coastal erosion and we have geologists keeping an eye on it so we have the perfect storm of conditions.”

RNLI watch tower at West Runton where the coast has unearthed secrets to our past.RNLI watch tower at West Runton where the coast has unearthed secrets to our past.

Earlier this year fresh calls were made for a permanent memorial to the West Runton elephant, which last walked on the Norfolk coast more than 700,000 years ago.

Some of the bones are on show in the Cromer Museum and Norwich Castle Museum but the bulk of the skeleton is in storage at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse Museum, in Dereham – a 50-mile round-trip from where it was discovered.

And now, with plans to rebrand north Norfolk the Deep History Coast, local history enthusiasts are asking for it to be returned.

Mr Warren said: “It was the biggest thing that any of us had ever seen down there. The locality is so important because it’s the definitive section that defines the Cromerian Interglacial period.

“It has had a lot of exposure but what it doesn’t have is a permanent home or exhibition and that’s not for lack of trying.

“I know there are moves afoot to do a rebranding exercise as a way of promoting the north Norfolk coast as a destination, not just for holidays but for special interest groups.”

Among the attractions at this week’s roadshow, Norfolk Wildlife trust hosted two fossil hunting events.

Richard Belson, vice-chairman of the Norfolk Mineral and Lapidary Society, said: “There’s all sorts of stuff on the beach so you never quite know what you are going to find - there is always the possibility (of finding another mammoth).

“If you don’t collect it off the beach, the sea will destroy it.”

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