COMMUNITIES in the region will share £213,000 of lottery money to explore their cultural heritage.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has handed out the money as part of its All Our Stories project, developed to coincide with BBC2’s history series, The Great British Story: A People’s History .

Jurassic Plants at Marske Quarry is among 26 schemes in the North-East to receive money.

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The funding will be used to display 40 species of Jurassic plant fossils, collected in the late 19th century in Marske, near Redcar.

Tees Valley RIGS Group will work with the Dorman Museum, in Middlesbrough, and Durham University to research and identify the fossils and hold handling workshops for local schoolchildren and visitors.

Marske Quarry, where the fossils were found, is now part of a local nature reserve but is overgrown and difficult to access.

Plans to open up the route will enable people to learn more about the geology of the area.

Alan Simkins, chair of the RIGS group, said: “People don’t realise the extent of the collection, or the geological importance of the sandstone quarry.

“There may even be more fossils to add to our Jurassic story.”

A project exploring the history of Seaton Carew Park will also be funded, as well as Bedlington Our Heritage, a scheme to create a new timeline film made by Bedlingtonshire Development Trust on the history of the Northumberland town.