Footprints of some of the last dinosaurs to walk on English soil have been found in Kent and reveal various species likely trudged along the White Cliffs of Dover 110 million years ago.

The footprints of several different dinosaurs were found in Folkestone after a 2011 storm loosened some rocks and exposed the ancient prints.

It is thought these are the youngest dinosaur footprints ever found in England and belong to ankylosaurs, often called a living tank; theropods, three-toed flesh-eating dinosaurs such as the Tyrannosaurus rex; and ornithopods, plant-eating “bird-hipped” dinosaurs.

The largest footprint found, measuring 80cm wide and 65cm in length, has been identified as belonging to an iguanodon-like dinosaur.

Most of the prints are one-offs, but the researchers also found one of the prehistoric reptiles took six steps in a row on the soft land, and all have been preserved.

A large ornithopod footprint

Credit: University of Portsmouth/PA Wire

The prints are similar in size to an elephant footprint and have been identified as likely coming from an Ornithopodichnus.

All the footprints formed when the dinosaurs stepped on soft ground and made an indent, which then filled up with sediment, immortalising the footprint and acting like a cast.

The find was made by Philip Hadland, collections and engagement curator at the Hastings Museum & Art Gallery.

Philip Hadland, of the Hastings Museum & Art Gallery, points to a tridactyl dinosaur footprint

Credit: University of Portsmouth/PA Wire

Prof David Martill, a paleontologist at the University of Portsmouth, said: “This is the first time dinosaur footprints have been found in strata known as the ‘Folkestone Formation’ and it’s quite an extraordinary discovery because these dinosaurs would have been the last to roam in this country before becoming extinct.

“They were walking around close to where the White Cliffs of Dover are now. Next time you’re on a ferry and you see those magnificent cliffs, just imagine that.

A tridactyl dinosaur footprint

Credit: Phil Hadland/University of Portsmouth/PA Wire

“To find such an array of species in one place is fascinating. These dinosaurs probably took advantage of the tidal exposures on coastal foreshores, perhaps foraging for food or taking advantage of clear migration routes.”

The paper is published in Proceedings Of The Geologists’ Association and some of the footprints are currently on display at Folkestone Museum.