JOURNEY back in time to Penarth’s prehistoric past when dinosaurs roamed the planet.

RNLI Penarth has joined forces with researchers from Natural History Museum to create a guide to the dinosaur footprints Penarth Beach which were first discovered in 2009.

The guide is packed with interesting facts about the creatures that left behind these tracks, along with how to find them and the best times to safely visit.

Penarth Beach’s dinosaur footprints date back to the Triassic period, which was 252 million to 201 million years ago, and were left behind by a dinosaur from the sauropod family - herbivores which are best known for their long necks and small heads.

Back in 2015, a new species of dinosaur, the dracoraptor hanigani, was even found near Penarth beach by brothers Rob and Nick Hanigan. 

Predating the Jurassic period and the Cretaceous period, the Triassic period was the first phase of the Mesozoic era (also known as the ‘time of the dinosaurs).

Penarth Times: One of the dinosaur footprints on Penarth beachOne of the dinosaur footprints on Penarth beach

These types of tracks are not particularly common worldwide, according to Professor Paul Barrett who is a merit researcher at the Natural History Museum,

He said:

"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".

The new guides to Penarth’s dinosaur footprints are available for free from the RNLI Penarth shop on Penarth Esplanade. Shop volunteers will also be on hand to give advice about tides and the best times to visit the prehistoric footprints.

Chairman of RNLI Penarth, Laurie Pavelin, 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."