A walking tour guide and fossil fan is in the running for a top tourism award.

Martin Curtis, who owns west Dorset-based Jurassic Coast Guides, is a finalist in VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar competition 2019.

The Daily Mirror- backed accolade is awarded to an individual who goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors to their area have an unforgettable experience.

Mr Curtis, 47, who lives in Milborne St Andrew, was nominated by the Visit Dorset Tourism Partnership, the destination management organisation for Dorset which helps support and grow the county’s visitor economy.

Residents are encouraged to vote for him between now and April 2 by going to Mirror.co.uk

Mr Curtis said: “It’s amazing to be recognised for my efforts as a guide in the area as I’ve worked hard over the years to try and be the best I can be.

"It would also just be the icing on the cake, after being awarded Gold at the Dorset Tourism Awards for Guided Tour of the Year.”

Mr Curtis first took an interest in fossils as a child after visiting Kimmeridge with his family. He set up Jurassic Coast Guides three years ago after being given the opportunity to look after an international journalist.

Rachel Symes, on behalf of the Visit Dorset Tourism Partnership, said: “We think that Martin is a very deserving finalist of VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar 2019 competition. His enthusiasm for his work is infectious and his knowledge captivates and inspires everyone.

“Martin knows the wonder and excitement of discovering something that has been hidden for millions of years and takes great pleasure in helping first-time fossil hunters to experience this. When you’re with Martin, you’ll find fossils, stand in the footprints of dinosaurs, enjoy breath-taking views of the Jurassic Coast, and you will be in the best company with him.”

The winner will be announced on Friday, April 6 as part of the celebrations for English Tourism Week.