Schoolboy finds 250-million-year-old fossil in Ombersley

Droitwich Advertiser: Luke Scarrott donates his Triassic find to Philippa Tinsley, senior curator for Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum. Luke Scarrott donates his Triassic find to Philippa Tinsley, senior curator for Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum.

A RARE fossil dating back 250 million years has been discovered by a schoolboy in Ombersley.

The specimen was found by 10-year-old Luke Scarrott and has been described as significant to the county’s natural history.

The Worcester youngster made the discovery in July when he spotted the rock with a plant fossil on both sides.

Wanting to find out more about it, Luke took his find to Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum, which cares for the city's natural history collection. There, he discovered that the fossil was over 250 million years old. It also transpired that the rock came from the overlap of two time periods, the Permian and Triassic, making the fossil much rarer.

"When I found it, I was joking with my sister and said I'd laugh if it turned out to be a million years old", said Luke. "But mum knew it was special so we took it to the museum."

The fossil itself is of a piece of Lycopod plant, known as Club Moss, common during the Triassic period.

However, plant fossils are not often found in Triassic rock and it is even more unusual to find one near Worcester. Luke's find is therefore extremely interesting and special to Worcestershire's history.

Luke has chosen to donate the fossil to Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum.

The museum’s collections officer, Garston Phillips, who identified the fossil, said: "We are very grateful to Luke for donating this fossil to us. It is a fascinating find and very unique to our collection. I hope that it has inspired Luke to continue his interest in natural history."

The fossil is currently on display in the museum's From Fertile Ground exhibition, alongside other rocks from the natural history collection. The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10.30am to 4.30pm.

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