Local children’s author Jo Earlam has written a story ‘Rosa’s Footprint’ that imagines the character of the reptile that left it, doing so as a deliberate message about treating the environment with care and for whoever saw it, to “think” about their own footprint they will leave.
“I was looking around the museum seeking inspiration for a children’s story connected to the exhibits,” said Jo. “The footprint kept calling to me, a momentary step upon the earth’s surface all that remained of this sentient being and its place in the world, yet still a connection. I began to reflect on this and the ‘footprint’ that our modern society leaves, and the inescapable truth that however lightly we tread, individually we will all leave more than one tiny print, and collectively mankind is making a massive dent that we’re only now realising the true significance of.”
Think Footprint became the name for the project. Illustrator Mark Hannon, who’s worked with Jo on her previous children’s books, designed the logo of a reptile and a child’s footprint on the earth, and has done all the artwork to accompany the story, to be published in October 2020. In conjunction with Sidmouth Science Festival, part of the wider engagement project will involve school children writing their own stories about the footprint and how they interpret its message.
Businesses, organisations and the wider community will also be encouraged to participate with their own reflections on the Think Footprint message. The project launch was at the Sidmouth Museum geology day at Kennaway House on Saturday 20th July 2019, coincidentally the 50th anniversary of the moon landings. Fifty years since man left the first footprint on the moon seemed an appropriate moment to look back at a reptile footprint left on earth 240 million years ago and ask people to Think Footprint.