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Last Updated: Monday, 18 August, 2003, 07:10 GMT 08:10 UK
Funds drive for fossil museum
William Dean
William Dean combs the beach for fossils
Enthusiasts have begun to raise money for a geology museum on the North Norfolk coast.

Interest in fossils and geology has grown since the skeleton of a prehistoric elephant was discovered at West Runton.

This year's annual fossil talk and hunt on the beach attracted hundreds of people.

As young fossil enthusiast William Dean combed the beach, he said they were looking for fossils and interesting rocks transported by icebergs and ice flows during the Ice Age.

Martin Warren, the geologist heading the event, believes there is so much interest in fossils that he and his colleagues are starting to raise money for a North Norfolk geology museum.

"I think this is a natural place for people to come for people is they are interested in the Norfolk coast and its geology and the stories we like to tell here about the Ice Age and elephants," Mr Warren said.

Fossil hunters
Interest in fossils has mushroomed with the West Runton Elephant
West Runton has been the focus of fossil hunters since the remains of a 600,000-year-old elephant was unearthed in 1990.

The bones were lifted from the cliffs in 1995 due to fears they would be damaged by the sea.

The skeleton, the height of a double-decker bus, was in remarkable condition.

The elephant - a very early type of mammoth - would have stood four metres tall and weighed 10 tonnes, making him far bigger than his modern descendants.

It is because the West Runton Elephant still has such broad appeal geologists behind the fund raising drive are convinced that a geology museum will entertain and fascinate everyone.

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