Tributes to dinosaur discoverer

Talented amateur geologist Geoff Toye, of The Street, Slinfold, died last week aged 60.

Mr Toye was best known locally for a find near Ockley in 2001, when he discovered the remains of a dinosaur - the most complete Iguanadon atherfieldensis ever found in the UK.

The species is now thought to belong to a new genus of dinosaurs, and has been reclassified as Mantellisaurus atherfieldensis.

The Cretaceous-era herbivore would have lived locally 130 million years ago.

It is thought to have looked like a smaller version of the well-known iguanadon.

Mr Toye had a place in scientific history even before the dinosaur discovery, having found a previously unknown species of fossil dragonfly near Rudgwick in 1997.

The dragonfly, named Angloaeschnidium toyei after its discoverer, is on display at Maidstone Museum.

Mr Toye’s widow Gillian told the County Times: “He had hundreds of friends - I don’t know how we’re going to fit them in the church for the funeral.

“He really lived life to the full - he liked to do everything.”

Apart from being an amateur geologist, Mr Toye was very knowledgeable about archaeology and wildlife, with a degree in zoology from Southampton University. He was also a talented musician, playing the guitar and the mandolin.

His brother Dave said Mr Toye had a real knack forspotting fossils or flint arrowheads whenever he went for a walk.

While he was out walking, Mr Toye could also identify everything from species of insects to trees.

The dinosaur find was made while on a geological field trip, when he spotted a fossil rib that everyone else had walked past.

The funeral will be held at St Peters Church, Slinfold, from noon on September 14.