Explore the past with RNLI Penarth’s guide to Penarth beach dinosaur footprints

Lifeboats News Release

The guides, created with support from Natural History Museum researchers, contain interesting facts about Penarth’s prehistoric footprints, as well as safety information on the best times to visit them.

RNLI/Tom Quinn

The dinosaur footprints on Penarth Beach were first found in 2009, but their identification was only confirmed over a decade later. In late 2021, researchers from the Natural History Museum concluded that the footprints date from the Triassic period and were left by a dinosaur from the sauropod family.

The new guides to Penarth’s dinosaur footprints are available for free from the RNLI Penarth shop on Penarth Esplanade.

The guides, developed locally with support from researchers at the Natural History Museum, show visitors how to find the footprints, as well as interesting facts about the animals that left them and the local geology. A special guide for young visitors includes an exciting children’s competition.

The guides include information about how to enjoy the footprints and Penarth Beach safely, with RNLI shop volunteers also on hand to give advice about tides and the best times to visit the footprints.

Laurie Pavelin, chairman of RNLI Penarth, said:

" It's great to be able to celebrate this local attraction and the significance it has for our understanding of the prehistoric world, while at the same time making sure that people are able to enjoy this exciting piece of the past safely."

Professor Paul Barrett, merit researcher at the Natural History Museum, described the significance of Penarth’s dinosaur footprints:

"These types of tracks are not particularly common worldwide, so we believe this is an interesting addition to our knowledge of Triassic life in the UK. The record of Triassic dinosaurs in this country is fairly small, so anything we can find from the period adds to our picture of what was going on at that time."

RNLI/Tom Quinn

One of the dinosaur footprints on Penarth beach

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