FASCINATING images of extinct creatures and plants were created by a group of talented sculptors and engravers at the MEMO Micro Festival held at Bumpers Lane on Portland.

This was held over the weekend as a forerunner to the plans for a Mass Extinction Memorial Observatory to be built along the east cliffs and was aimed at creating interest and support for the project.

Although ankle deep in mud on Saturday, members of the public still arrived to get themselves involved in carving on stone slabs which will eventually be used for walls or flooring.

Their carving was in abstract or modernistic designs of their own choice to contrast with the engravings of extinct species carried out on stone pillars by the professionals.

At virtually the last minute, Joanna Szuwalska, the creator of the Spirit of Portland sculpture, and Matthew O'Donovan collaborated to produce a carving of a black rhino on a pillar and Tim Lees was busy showing what a gastric breeding frog looked like. A Hawaiian Ha Ha Tree took shape under the hammer of Harry Brockway, John Sellman was bringing a Yangtze Dolphin to life and Gillian Forbes was busy recreating a St Helena giant earwig.

On Sunday, Billy Lilliwhite started work on his carving of a Great Auk, of interest to the island as the bones of this bird were unearthed during the recent excavations of the Romano-British site in Weston Road.

Bell founder Andy Griffiths, assisted by 20-year-old Sloan Smith from Kansas who is spending a year at West Wales School of Arts on an exchange programme, was busy preparing the mould for a bell.

First the wax surrounding the mould had to be removed then the mould was fired at 800 degrees centigrade before the molten bronze was poured in at 1,200 degrees.

It was Sunday before the bell could be removed to give out its first clear sound.

Many more people, including Deputy Town Mayor Richard Paisley, were present on site in Sunday's better weather and Sebastian Brooke, the originator of the project said: "Previously I have been working alone on the project and now it has been great to see so many happy faces around.

"Now, with the work that has been carried out here, we will have something to show when we come to the planning application stage for MEMO and there is a distinct possibilty that this work will be exhibited at St Paul's Cathedral and the Eden Project to raise funds for the Mass Extinction Memorial Observatory to be built on Portland."

The work will be on view to the public at Bumpers Lane until Thursday when the bell will be tolled officially at 8am to mark the International Day of Biodiversity.