Statue of Dorset fossil hunter Mary Anning to be put up in Lyme Regis

Watch Bob Cruwys' report

A statue of Dorset fossil-hunter who was all but forgotten from history is finally going to be put up in her home town of Lyme Regis.

Fossil hunter and palaeontologist Mary Anning was born in 1799 and sold fossils to supplement her family's income.

She became known around the world for what she found on the Jurassic Coast, with her findings contributing to changes in scientific thinking about prehistoric life.

She has since been the subject of a film starring Kate Winslet (Ammonite) but campaigners argue she has never been properly celebrated for what she discovered during the early 1800s.

A campaign to get a statue of Mary Anning in her hometown was started four years ago by schoolgirl Evie Swire - and now the statue is finally set to be put up.

When the 11-year-old asked her mother if she could go to visit a statue of her fossil-hunting hero, she was upset to be told it was impossible.

The campaign started there and, four years later, a statue is to be installed on the seafront, overlooking the cliffs and beaches where she hunted for fossils two hundred years ago.

Evie, who is now 14, told ITV News: "She was a working class woman in Victorian times who wasn't appreciated for her work in the moment. A statue will make people more aware of who she is and what she did for science."

Evie's mother, Anya Pearson, founded charity 'Mary Anning Rocks' to campaign for a statue and raised more than £100,000.

"Let's face it, if she'd have been a upper-class male, she'd have had a statue 100 years ago", says Anya.

"Not having her visualised in the town has kind of made her voice lost from the conversation, and I think when we visualise her and put her back into the place where she was literally and metaphorically doing her groundbreaking work, I think it's going to really up her profile."

The beaches along the Jurassic Coast at Lyme Regis still attract many fossil hunters today, many of them inspired by the work Mary Anning did in the 1900s.

Michael Harrison, a keen fossil hunter on the 'Mary Anning Rocks' committee, said: "A lot of fossil hunting is in the anticipation. That's where the excitement lies, in the anticipation.

"You can hunt for years looking for big ichthyosaurs and not find anything. So when do you do, it's something really special."

The statue of Mary Anning is due to be installed in May 2022.