Alan has carried out research on the discovery of the 330 million years old Bearsden Shark. The fossil was found in 1982 but over the decades since, outside of academia, the shark is not widely remembered even in the local community where it was found. The Group’s aim has been to bring back an awareness of the importance of the fossil and the site to the local community and to the wider public.
Tarmac who operate a nearby quarry provided funding out of their community projects fund which has allowed the Group to draw attention to the site by inserting the words "Bearsden Shark" on the railing of the footpath crossing the Manse Burn; commissioning the erection of a stone cairn nearby; and commissioning the design, manufacture and installation of an information board on the cairn. The information board displays a comprehensive summary of the finding of the shark and the surrounding area. It is hoped that this will encourage people to find out more about the shark and other fossils.
East Dunbartonshire Council have provided assistance in procuring contractors to provide and insert the name in the barrier and to erect the cairn.
The content of the information board was put together by the Group with advice from Dr Neil Clark of the Hunterian Museum, Dr Clark having carried out academic research on many aspects of the fossils recovered during the dig by Stan Wood. The design of the information board was carried out by Bedrock Design Glasgow and the manufacture and installation was carried out by Kenwil Ltd.
Scottish Natural Heritage were consulted and provided advice on how the site should be treated in future with particular reference to the site being protected as a Special Site of Scientific Interest and the need for it to comply with the Fossil Code.
Provost Walker and Dr Clark each spoke about the project and the benefit to both the local and wider communities.
Provost Walker presented the community group with a block of transparent plastic containing a model of the shark.